Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 44–61 | Cite as

Response of Tradescantia plants to oxidative stress induced by heavy metal pollution of soils from industrial areas

  • Raimondas ŠiukštaEmail author
  • Skaistė Bondzinskaitė
  • Violeta Kleizaitė
  • Donatas Žvingila
  • Ričardas Taraškevičius
  • Laurynas Mockeliūnas
  • Asta Stapulionytė
  • Kristina Mak
  • Tatjana Čėsnienė
New Toxic Emerging Contaminants: Beyond the Toxicological effects


Numerous investigations have demonstrated that even soil in which concentrations of individual elements do not exceed permissible limits can cause harmful effects in living organisms. In the present study, polluted-soil-induced oxidative stress was evaluated using Tradescantia clone 4430, which is widely used for genotoxicity evaluations, employing biochemical (superoxide dismutase (SOD), contents of ascorbic acid (AA), carotenoids (Car), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), chlorophyll (Chl) a/b ratio), and molecular (RAPD and differential display (DD-PCR)) markers after long-term exposure. The activity (staining intensity) of SOD isoforms in Tradescantia leaves was higher in plants grown in all heavy-metal-polluted test soils compared to the control. No direct link between the soil pollution category and the contents of AA, Car, Chl a/b in Tradescantia leaves was revealed, but the concentration of H2O2 was shown to be a sensitive biochemical indicator that may appropriately reflect the soil contamination level. Both short-term (treatment of cuttings with H2O extracts of soil) and long-term (0.5 and 1.0 year) exposure increased MN frequencies, but the coincidence of the MN induction and the soil pollution level was observed only in some cases of long-term exposure. Soil (geno)toxin-induced polymorphism in the RAPD profile was determined with two primers in plants after long-term exposure to soils of an extremely hazard category. Transcript profiling of plants after long-term cultivation in test soils using DD-PCR showed that the majority of differentially expressed transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) were homologous to genes directly or indirectly participating in photosynthesis, the abiotic stress response, and signal transduction cascades.


Biochemical markers Differential display RAPD Soil genotoxicity Superoxide dismutase Trad-MN 


Author’s contributions

TČ and RŠ conceived and designed the experiments. RŠ, VK, SB, RT, LM, KM, and TČ conducted the experiments. RŠ, TČ, VK, and AS analyzed the data. RŠ, TČ, VK, DŽ, and AS wrote the paper.

Funding information

This work was supported by a grant from the Lithuanian Research Council MIP-042/2015.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3224_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Table S1 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raimondas Šiukšta
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Skaistė Bondzinskaitė
    • 1
  • Violeta Kleizaitė
    • 1
  • Donatas Žvingila
    • 1
  • Ričardas Taraškevičius
    • 3
  • Laurynas Mockeliūnas
    • 1
  • Asta Stapulionytė
    • 1
  • Kristina Mak
    • 1
  • Tatjana Čėsnienė
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biosciences, Life Sciences CenterVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  2. 2.Botanical Garden of Vilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania
  3. 3.Nature Research CentreInstitute of Geology and GeographyVilniusLithuania

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