Photosynthetica

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 50–57 | Cite as

Low doses of Pb affected Lactuca sativa photosynthetic performance

Article

Abstract

The effects of soil and water contamination by lead (Pb) and the consequences on plant growth and yield are of great concern worldwide. Limits of the Pb concentration in water have been established by governmental institutions but these differ from each other. In this study, Lactuca sativa (var. Reine de Mai) plants were exposed to low Pb(NO3)2 doses (0.05–20 mg L−1), including the recommended limit values for irrigation water by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). After 28 d of exposure, lettuce plants did not present visible morphological alterations or growth impairment, but CO2 assimilation rate (PN), photochemical quenching, and effective quantum efficiency of PSII were negatively affected, while intercellular CO2 concentration, stomatal conductance, or transpiration rate were not influenced. Our results suggested that limitations on photosynthesis occurred from different reasons than due to the decrease of internal CO2 availability, alterations of photophosphorylation, and/or electron transport rate. Thus, this lettuce cultivar showed photosynthetic susceptibility to low doses of Pb, even at lower concentrations than those maximal allowed for irrigation water by FAO. Furthermore, PN seemed to be the most sensitive biomarker for evaluation of Pb susceptibility.

Additional key words

abiotic stress chlorophyll fluorescence gas exchange phytotoxicity toxic metal 

Abbreviations

Chl

chlorophyll

Ci

intercellular CO2 concentration

DM

dry mass

ETR

electron transport rate

F

steady-state fluorescence

F0

minimal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state

FAO

Food and Agriculture Organization

FM

fresh mass

Fm

maximal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state

Fm'

maximal fluorescence yield of the light-adapted state

Fv/Fm

maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII

gs

stomatal conductance

LS

leaf succulence

NPQ

nonphotochemical quenching

PN

net photosynthetic rate

qP

photochemical quenching coefficient

TSS

total soluble sugar

WC

water content

ФPSII

actual photochemical efficiency of PSII

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, CESAM and QOPNAUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Biology and CESAM, Laboratory of Fungal & Plant BiologyUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Department of BiologyFaculty of Sciences & GreenUP/Citab-UP University of PortoPortoPortugal

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