The effects of increase copper concentrations in medium (10–150 μM CuSO4) on growth and viability of the roots of two-week-old soybean seedlings (Glycine max L., cv. Dorintsa) were studied. Copper excess suppressed biomass accumulation and linear plant growth; copper affected root growth much stronger than shoot growth. The presence of 10 μM CuSO4 in medium suppressed accumulation of plant biomass by 40% and the root length by 70%; in the presence of 25 μM CuSO4, these indices were equal to 80 and 90%, respectively. In the presence of 50 μM CuSO4, roots ceased to grow but biomass and shoot length still increased slightly. 150 μM CuSO4 was lethal for plants. The earliest sign of excessive copper toxicity was the accumulation of MDA, indicating activation of membrane lipid peroxidation. A significant increase in MDA content was observed at plant incubation in medium with 10 μM CuSO4 for 1 h; in this case, the content of copper in the roots increased from 36 ±1.8 (in control) to 48 ± 2.4 μg/g dry wt. The number of dead cells (permeable for the dye Evans Blue) was doubled in the presence of 200 μg/g dry wt within the root; this occurred in 72 h of growth in medium with 10 μM CuSO4, in 6 h at 25 μM CuSO4, in 3 h at 50 μM CuSO4, and 1 h at 150 μM CuSO4. Toxicity of copper excess was manifested stronger in dividing and elongation cells of the root apex (root meristem and the zone of elongation) than in more basal root regions. Copper excess resulted in the formation of breaks in the surface cell layers of the root tips and affect root morphology. When plant grew in medium with 10 μM CuSO4, a distance of lateral root formation zone from the root tip decreased markedly, and spherical swellings were formed on the tips of lateral roots. The higher copper concentrations (50 and 150 μM) suppressed completely the development of lateral roots.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 21, 2011
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