Response of Plantago major to cesium and strontium in hydroponics: Absorption and effects on morphology, physiology and photosynthesis.

Author(s) Burger, A.; Weidinger, M.; Adlassnig, W.; Puschenreiter, M.; Lichtscheidl, I.
Journal Environ Pollut
Date Published 2019 Aug 22
Abstract

Human activities lead to increasing concentration of the stable elements cesium (Cs) and strontium (Sr) and their radioactive isotopes in the food chain, where plants play an important part. Here we investigated Plantago major under the influence of long-term exposure to stable Cs and Sr. The plants were cultivated hydroponically in different concentrations of cesium sulfate (between 0.002 and 20 mM) and strontium nitrate (between 0.001 and 100 mM). Uptake of Cs and Sr into leaves was analyzed from extracts by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). It was increased with increasing external Cs and Sr concentrations. However, the efficiency of Cs and Sr transfer from solution to plants was higher for low external concentrations. Highest transfer factors were 6.78 for Cs and 71.13 for Sr. Accumulation of Sr was accompanied by a slight decrease of potassium (K) and calcium (Ca) in leaves, whereas the presence of Cs in the medium affected only uptake of K. The toxic effects of Cs and Sr were estimated from photosynthetic reactions and plant growth. In leaves, Cs and Sr affected the chlorophyll fluorescence even at their low concentrations. Low and high concentrations of both ions reduced dry weight and length of roots and leaves. The distribution of the elements between the different tissues of leaves and roots was investigated using Energy Dispersive X-Ray microanalysis (EDX) with scanning electron microscope (SEM). Overall, observations suggested differential patterns in accumulating Cs and Sr within the roots and leaves. When present in higher concentrations the amount of Cs and Sr transferred from environment to plants was sufficient to affect some physiological processes. The experimental model showed a potential for P. major to study the influence of radioactive contaminants and their removal from hotspots.

DOI 10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113084
ISSN 1873-6424
Citation Burger A, Weidinger M, Adlassnig W, Puschenreiter M, Lichtscheidl I. Response of Plantago major to cesium and strontium in hydroponics: Absorption and effects on morphology, physiology and photosynthesis. Environ Pollut. 2019;254(Pt B):113084.