John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Chemiluminescent examination of abiotic oxidative stress of watercress

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Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is an aquatic plant that readily bioaccumulates heavy metals that may be found in contaminated aquatic systems. Toxic effects of contaminants on the physiological processes cause changes in oxidase enzymatic activity in watercress, which can be measured with a luminometer. The luminometer uses the reaction produced when peroxidases break down hydrogen peroxide into water and an oxygen radical. The resulting oxyradical binds to and oxidizes phenolic groups, producing a measureable luminescent reaction. Nasturtium officinale plants were exposed to 3 different concentrations of heavy metals, including lead, nickel, copper, and manganese for 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h. Aquatic exposure to the 4 heavy metals caused a significant increase in oxidative enzyme production. Fluorometric and morphometric measurements were also conducted to compare plant stress with the oxidative enzyme analyses. Fluorometric measurements performed on plants stressed by exposure to heavy metals revealed no significant decreases in photosystem II efficiency. Morphometric measurements of root length showed decreased root growth resulting from exposures to Ni, Cu, and Mn. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC

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