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Response of Berula erecta to Lead in Combination with Selenium

Abstract

Tissue culture of Berula erecta is suitable cultivation system for research purposes connected with contamination and phytoremediation studies. In previous investigation we determined the optimal dose concentration at which Se stimulates plant growth and positively affects the antioxidative status in this experimental system. In current study, we investigate its response to exposure to lead (Pb) and further the possible protective effect of Se(IV) against Pb exposure. Plants were grown in 10 and 50 mg Pb L−1 solution without and with added Se (0.1 mg L−1) for six weeks. Plants possessed a high affinity to uptake Pb and Se in roots. Addition of Pb inhibited roots elongations and the plant height. In contrast, the combined effect of Se + Pb treatment was reflected in increased weight of plants when compared to Pb treatment alone. Pb decreased the amount of chlorophylls and consequently photochemical efficiency was lowered, whereas in Pb + Se treatment the photochemical efficiency was higher. Furthermore, Pb treatment caused a gradual increase in glutathione in both roots and shoots, however, to a greater percentage in shoots when compared to controls. Exposure to both Pb and Se did not cause any significant changes in root’s glutathione level when compared to Pb treatment alone. In shoots, the combined treatment lowered the glutathione significantly, but the levels remained 50% above those of untreated control samples, reflecting that this might be related with the antioxidative effects of Se treatment.

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Acknowledgements

This research was partly supported by the Slovene Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology within the program Research to Ensure Food Safety and Health (Grant No. P1-0164) and by the project “Po kreativni poti do praktičnega znanja (Practical knowledge through creative pathways) co-funded by the European Social Fund and conducted within the framework of the Operational Programme for Human Resources Development for the period 2007–2013, development priority 1: Promoting entrepreneurship and adaptability, priority axis 1.3: Scholarship schemes.

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Correspondence to Špela Mechora.

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Mechora, Š., Rižnik, T., Urbanek Krajnc, A. et al. Response of Berula erecta to Lead in Combination with Selenium. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 105, 51–61 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-020-02910-0

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Keywords

  • Lead
  • Selenium
  • Berula erecta
  • Growth parameters
  • Photochemical efficiency
  • Thiols