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The influence of duckweed species diversity on ecophysiological tolerance to copper exposure

Update time: 10/31/2016

In excess, copper is toxic to plants. In the plants, Landoltia punctata and Lemna minor grown in mixed and monoculture, the effects of exposure to varying concentrations of copper (0.01, 0.1, 0.5 and 1 mg L-1 Cu) for seven days were assessed by measuring changes in the chlorophyll, protein and malondialdehyde (MDA) content, catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity. According to results, Cu levels in plants increased with increasing Cu concentration. The level of photosynthetic pigments and crude proteins decreased only upon exposure to high Cu concentrations. However, the starch and malondialdehyde (MDA) content increased. These results suggested a stress alleviation that was possibly the result of antioxidants such as CAT and SOD, the activities of which increased with increasing Cu levels. APX activity increased in L. punctata, but decreased in L. minor, under monoculture or mixed culture conditions. In addition, the duckweed in mixed culture exhibited increased antioxidant enzyme activities which provide increased resistance to copper in moderate copper concentrations. As the copper concentration increased, the duckweed in the mixed culture limited the uptake of copper to avoid toxicity. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.