Soil contamination with heavy metals is threatening the food security around the globe. Chromium (Cr) contamination results in poor quality and reduction in yield of crops. The present research was performed to figure out the Cr toxicity in sunflower and the ameliorative role of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) as a plant growth regulator. The sunflower (FH-614) was grown under increasing concentration of Cr (0, 5, 10 and 20mgkg−1) alone and/or in combination with 5-ALA (0, 10 and 20mgL−1). Results showed that Cr suppressed the overall growth, biomass, gas exchange attributes and chlorophyll content of sunflower plants. Moreover, lower levels of Cr (5 and 10mgkg−1) increased the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and electrolyte leakage (EL) along with the activities of antioxidant enzymes i.e., superoxide dismutase (SOD), guaiacole peroxidase (POD), ascorbate (APX), catalase (CAT). But at higher concentration of Cr (20mgkg−1), the activities of these enzymes presented a declining trend. However, the addition of 5-ALA significantly alleviated the Cr-induced toxicity in sunflower plant and enhanced the plant growth and biomass parameters along with increased chlorophyll content, gas exchange attributes, soluble proteins and soil plant analysis development (SPAD) values by scavenging the ROS and lowering down the EL. The 5-ALA also enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes at all levels of Cr. The increase in Cr concentration in all plant parts such as leaf, root and stem was directly proportional to the Cr concentration in soil. The application of 5-ALA further enhanced the uptake of Cr and its concentration in the plants. To understand this variation in response of plants to 5-ALA, detailed studies are required on plant biochemistry and genetic modifications.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: Apr 30, 2018
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