Growth, physiological function, and antioxidant defense system responses of Lemna minor L. to decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) induced phytotoxicity.


College of Biology and the Environment, Joint Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, 210037, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]


Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), represent one of the new types of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that are currently found in ambient aquatic ecosystems. Lemna minor L. is a floating freshwater plant, which is widely employed for phytotoxicity studies of xenobiotic substances. For this study, we investigated the growth, physiological functions, and antioxidant capacities of L. minor, which were exposed to 0-20 mg L-1 decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) for 14 days. A logistic model was suitable for describing the growth of L. minor when the BDE-209 concentration was in the range of from 0 to 15 mg L-1. When exposed to 5 and 10 mg L-1 BDE-209, the growth of L. minor was significantly increased, where the intrinsic rate (r) and the maximum capacity of the environment (K) of L. minor were significantly higher than those of the control. In this case, the chlorophyll content and soluble proteins were also markedly increased. Moreover, the photosynthetic function (Fv/Fm, PI) was enhanced. However, for 15 mg L-1 BDE-29 treated group, the growth of L. minor was significantly inhibited, with decreases in chlorophyll and the soluble protein content, until the L. minor yellowed and expired under a concentration of 20 mg L-1. Photosynthetic functions were also negatively correlated with increasing increments of BDE-209 (15 and 20 mg L-1). The malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide anion radical (O2̄·) content, and permeability of the plasma membranes increased with higher BDE-209 concentrations (0-20 mg L-1). The superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) activities of L. minor increased when the BDE-209 concentration ranged from 0 to 10 mg L-1; however, the activities of SOD and POD were decreased. Only the CAT activity remained higher in contrast to the control group under 15-20 mg L-1 BDE-209. These results demonstrated that 15 mg L-1 BDE-209 imparted high toxicity to L. minor, which was a consequence of the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which conveyed oxidative damage to plant cells. This study provided a theoretical understanding of BDE-209 induced toxicity as relates to the physiology and biochemistry of higher hydrophytes.


Antioxidant capacity,BDE-209,Lemna minor,Logistic model,Photosynthetic function,

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