, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Effects of tetrabromobisphenol A on maize (Zea mays L.) physiological indexes, soil enzyme activity, and soil microbial biomass

  • Ying Wang
  • Mei Zhang
  • Lifang Zhao
  • Wei Zhang
  • Ting Zhao
  • Jingxuan Chu
  • Yanhao Qiu
  • Hangyuan Gong
  • Ruijin LiEmail author


TetrabromobisphenolA (TBBPA) is the most widely used brominated flame retardant, and it has the characteristics of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), attracting considerable attention. Many studies mainly focus on TBBPA toxicological effects in aquatic animals and rodents, but the ecotoxicology data of TBBPA on plant-soil system are limited so far. In this study, we assessed the impacts of TBBPA on maize (Zea mays L.) physiological indexes, soil enzyme activity, and soil microbial biomass at different concentrations of TBBPA (0, 0.75, 3.75, 7.5, 15, 37.5 and 75 mg·kg−1) and explored their relationships. Results showed that the maize physiological indexes and chlorophyll contents were significantly decreased by TBBPA, the activities of anti-oxidative enzymes including catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) were remarkably enhanced. Meanwhile, TBBPA activated the CAT, POD and PPO activities in soil. The low concentrations TBBPA promoted the activities of soil urease (S-UE), neutral phosphatase (S-PE) and increased the soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and nitrogen (SMBN) while the high concentrations TBBPA suppressed them. Notably, the data indicated microbial biomass had respectively a significant correlation with CAT, PPO and S-UE in soil in the presence of TBBPA, and maize chlorophyll contents were associated with SMBN, CAT, and PPO. Taken together, TBBPA caused soil pollution, affected soil enzyme activities and microbial biomass, and hindered maize growth under the current experimental condition, suggesting the interactions among maize growth, soil enzyme, soil microorganism in maize rhizosphere of TBBPA-polluted soils are very important aspects to comprehensively evaluate the ecotoxicological effects of TBBPA.


Tetrabromobisphenol A Maize Seed germination Enzyme activity Soil microbial biomass 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ying Wang
    • 1
  • Mei Zhang
    • 1
  • Lifang Zhao
    • 1
  • Wei Zhang
    • 1
  • Ting Zhao
    • 1
  • Jingxuan Chu
    • 1
  • Yanhao Qiu
    • 1
  • Hangyuan Gong
    • 1
  • Ruijin Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Environmental Science, Shanxi UniversityTaiyuanChina

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