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Assessment of Giant Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza L. Schleiden) Turions as Model Objects in Ecotoxicological Applications


In this study germination of Spirodela polyrhiza (L.) Schleiden (giant duckweed) turions was assessed under cadmium exposure to test applicability of a novel turion-based ecotoxicology method. Floating success of germinating turions, protrusion of the first and subsequent fronds as test endpoints were investigated and compared to results of standard duckweed growth inhibition tests with fronds of the same species. Our results indicate that turions can be used to characterize effects of toxic substances. Initial phase of turion germination (floating up and appearance of the first frond) was less sensitive to Cd treatments than the subsequent frond production. The calculated effective concentrations for growth rates in turion and normal frond tests were similar. Single frond area produced by germinating turions proved to be the most sensitive test endpoint. Single frond area and colony disintegration as additionally measured parameters in normal frond cultures also changed due to Cd treatments but the sensitivity of these parameters was lower than that of growth rates.

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The authors thank Dr. Mihály Braun (Isotoptech Zrt, Debrecen, Hungary) for the analytical assessment of Cd concentrations in the applied test solutions, and Dr. Balázs András Lukács for his kind assistance in Spirodela polyrhiza clone identification.

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Correspondence to Ilona Mészáros.

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Oláh, V., Hepp, A. & Mészáros, I. Assessment of Giant Duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza L. Schleiden) Turions as Model Objects in Ecotoxicological Applications. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 96, 596–601 (2016).

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  • Vegetative propagule
  • Germination test
  • Growth inhibition test
  • Cadmium