Assessment of both environmental cytotoxicity and trace metal pollution using Populus simonii Carr. as a bioindicator

Abstract

The level of environmental pollution in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk (Western Ukraine) has been assessed by means of roadside poplar trees as bioindicators. Dividable apical meristem cells of rudimentary leaves were quantitatively analysed for mitotic activity and distribution. Anaphases were further examined for chromosomal aberrations. Male catkins were also examined for sterile pollens. Accumulation of trace elements in vegetative buds was also evaluated in order to reveal source(s) of environmental pollution. Poplar trees growing in the urban environment proved to have increased chromosomal aberrations (up to 4-fold) and increased pollen sterility (up to 4-fold) as well as decreased mitotic activity (by factor 1.5) as compared to control sampling site. The biomarker data correlate moderately with increased (up to 4-fold) concentrations of Ni, Zn, Pb, Cd and Cu in vegetative tissues suggesting that probable cause of the environmental cytotoxicity may be vehicle emissions. The maximum increase in chromosomal aberrations (7-fold) and the minimum mitotic activity (half of the control one) were recorded in poplar trees growing in industrial suburb in vicinity of large cement production plant. Taking in mind insignificant bioaccumulation of trace elements in the industrial suburb, the high environmental toxicity has been ascribed to contamination in cement and asbestos particulates.

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Correspondence to Alexander Shyichuk.

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Sluchyk, V., Sluchyk, I. & Shyichuk, A. Assessment of both environmental cytotoxicity and trace metal pollution using Populus simonii Carr. as a bioindicator. Environ Monit Assess 186, 6645–6650 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-014-3879-2

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Keywords

  • Bioindication
  • Urban environment
  • Karyokinesis pathology
  • Pollen viability
  • SEM-EDXMA