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Obermeier M.,German Research Center for Health and Environment GmbH | Schroder C.A.,German Research Center for Health and Environment GmbH | Helmreich B.,TU Munich | Schroder P.,German Research Center for Health and Environment GmbH
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2015

Lemna minor L., a widely used model plant for toxicity tests has raised interest for its application to phytoremediation due to its rapid growth and ubiquitous occurrence. In rural areas, the pollution of water bodies with heavy metals and agrochemicals poses a problem to surface water quality. Among problematic compounds, heavy metals (copper) and pesticides are frequently found in water bodies. To establish duckweed as a potential plant for phytoremediation, enzymatic and antioxidative stress responses of Lemna minor during exposure to copper and a chloroacetamide herbicide were investigated in laboratory studies. The present study aimed at evaluating growth and the antioxidative and glutathione-dependent enzyme activity of Lemna plants and its performance in a scenario for phytoremediation of copper and a chloroacetamide herbicide. Lemna minor was grown in Steinberg medium under controlled conditions. Plants were treated with CuSO4 (ion conc. 50 and 100 μg/L) and pethoxamide (1.25 and 2.5 μg/L). Measurements following published methods focused on plant growth, oxidative stress, and basic detoxification enzymes. Duckweed proved to survive treatment with the respective concentrations of both pollutants very well. Its growth was inhibited scarcely, and no visible symptoms occurred. On the cellular basis, accumulation of O2 − and H2O2 were detected, as well as stress reactions of antioxidative enzymes. Duckweed detoxification potential for organic pollutants was high and increased significantly with incubation. Pethoxamide was found to be conjugated with glutathione. Copper was accumulated in the fronds at high levels, and transient oxidative defense reactions were triggered. This work confirms the significance of L. minor for the removal of copper from water and the conjugation of the selective herbicide pethoxamide. Both organic and inorganic xenobiotics induced different trends of enzymatic and antioxidative stress response. The strong increase of stress responses following copper exposure is well known as oxidative burst, which is probably different from the much more long-lasting responses found in plants exposed to pethoxamide. Lemna sp. might be used as a tool for phytoremediation of low-level contamination with metals and organic xenobiotics, however the authors recommend a more detailed analysis of the development of the oxidative burst following copper exposure and of the enzymatic metabolism of pethoxamide in order to elucidate the extent of its removal from water. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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