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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 1999  |  Volume: 2  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 1307 - 1313

Effect of Cadmium, Chromium and Lead on Seed Germination, Early Seedling Growth and Phenolic Contents of Parkinsonia aculeata L. and Pennisetum americanum (L.) Schumann

S. Shahid Shaukat, Mohammad Mushtaq and Zamin Shaheed Siddiqui    

Abstract: The effect of heavy metals including lead, chromium and cadmium on germination, seedling growth, dry biomass accumulation and phenolic contents of two species viz. Pennisetum americanum and Parkinsonia aculeata were studied. Chromium and cadmium were applied as chloride while lead was used both as nitrate and chloride. Final germination percentage was greatly reduced by cadmium, chromium and lead salts in both the test species at concentrations of 50 ppm or more. Germination reduction was markedly higher in Pennisetum americanum compared to Parkinsonia aculeata treated with cadmium and chromium. Lead chloride inhibited germination more severely than did lead nitrate. Both root and shoot growth were also reduced significantly by Cd, Cr and PbCl2. In both the species root growth was inhibited to a greater extent than shoot growth. Phenolic contents were substantially elevated in both the test species following treatment with heavy metals particularly at higher concentrations (200 and 400 ppm). Parkinsonia aculeata was less affected in terms of germination, root and shoot growth and dry matter accumulation as compared to Pennisetum americanum, exhibiting some degree of tolerance to heavy metals.

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