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Research Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2018  |  Volume: 13  |  Issue: 2-6  |  Page No.: 15 - 22

Effects of Lead Stress on Germination, Seedlings Physiological and Biochemical Characteristics of Withania somnifera

Riyadh A. Basahi    

Abstract: Lead is a toxic heavy metal found in the environment and affects all organisms. The aim of this study was to investigate the responses of Withania somnifera to lead (Pb) stress. Increasing lead concentration caused a decrease in germination percentage and germination index significantly 20 and 40 mM Pb (NO3)2 resulted in a huge reduction in germination percentage (21 and 9%, respectively). The mean germination time was only affected under 20 mM Pb (NO3)2. lead significantly reduced roots and shoots length compared to the control, the inhibition effect of lead was increased with the increasing concentration. Seedlings grown under high levels of lead (40 mM) showed the shortest root and shoot lengths (0.7 and 1.0 cm, respectively). An increase in proline content and lipid peroxidation was observed in W. somnifera seedlings under Pb treatment. lead concentration in plant tissues increased with the increase in lead concentration in the growing medium. In contrast to Pb concentrations in plant tissues, P and K concentrations decreased by all lead dozes.

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