In experiments with rapeseed (Brassica napus L., cv. Westar) plants, it was confirmed that copper was considerably more toxic than zinc. The toxic effects of 50 and 150 μM CuSO4 were comparable to those of 1000 and 2500 μM ZnSO4. The analysis of the effects of these concentrations of copper and zinc on photosynthetic pigment contents and on the rate of lipid peroxidation did not reveal any reasons for different toxicities of these heavy metals (HM). Among biological effects studied, significant differences were found in the organ distribution of these metals in plants grown on both the standard medium and the medium with high concentrations of copper or zinc. Copper retained in the roots in relatively small amounts and was poorly transported over the aboveground part of the plants. It stayed mainly in the lower leaves, and its distribution changed only a little during the recovery of plants following the HM treatment. In contrast, zinc proved to be highly mobile, it was concentrated in the upper leaves and actively transported when the plants were transferred to a medium with the optimal HM concentrations. High copper concentrations slowed strongly zinc uptake by the roots but practically did not change its movement over the plant. In contrast, high zinc concentrations facilitated copper uptake by the roots but reduced its transfer to the aboveground organs. The data presented here allow us to hypothesize that biological peculiarities of organ and cellular distribution of copper and zinc in plants and interaction of these HM play an important role in the toxic effects of high concentrations of these HM and the mechanisms of adaptation to them at industrial environmental pollution used by rapeseed plants.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 31, 2010
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