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Alternating current electrical field effects on lettuce (Lactuca sativa) growing in hydroponic culture with and without cadmium contamination


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of a 10 Hz alternating current (10 Hz 1 V cm−1) and a 50 Hz alternating current (50 Hz 1 V cm−1) on the lettuce plant (Lactuca sativa) growing in a hydroponic (soil-free) culture. Thirty lettuce plants were pre-germinated, and then 15 of them were treated with cadmium solution (CdCl2) of 5 mg/L in concentration. Ten plants (five plants with Cd and five plants without Cd) were subjected to a 10 Hz alternating current (AC) electrical field; 10 plants were subjected to a 50 Hz AC field. The rest of the plants were used as a control. The lettuce plants were harvested after a growth of 60 days. The chlorophyll content, biomass and metal content of the lettuce plants were determined. The biomass of the plants growing in non-contaminated medium was 28 and 106% higher under the 10 and the 50 Hz AC fields respectively compared to the control. Although the plant biomass was reduced by the presence of Cd in the growth medium, the biomass of the plants growing in Cd contaminated medium was 40 and 63% higher respectively for 10 and 50 Hz AC field compared to the plant growing in Cd contaminated medium without electrical treatment. Increased uptake of Cd in the plant shoot was found with the 50 Hz AC field. Significant accumulation and uptake of Cu in plant roots and shoots was found under both electrical treatments.

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Correspondence to Ran Bi.

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Bi, R., Schlaak, M., Siefert, E. et al. Alternating current electrical field effects on lettuce (Lactuca sativa) growing in hydroponic culture with and without cadmium contamination. J Appl Electrochem 40, 1217–1223 (2010).

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  • Phytoremediation
  • Electrokinetics
  • Heavy metals
  • Soil contamination
  • Alternating current