Variations in the antioxidant and free radical scavenging under induced heavy metal stress expressed as proline content in chickpea

  • Sameer Suresh BhagyawantEmail author
  • Dakshita Tanaji Narvekar
  • Neha Gupta
  • Amita Bhadkaria
  • Kirtee Kumar Koul
  • Nidhi Srivastava
Research Article


This study pertains to the effects of heavy metal salts viz., copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) on the chickpea accession ICC-4812. The salts were given as treatments to the chickpea seeds at various ascending levels of doses till proving toxic. The treatment of 24 h soaked and swollen seeds were then extended to 7 days duration from the date of treatment. Atomic absorption spectrophotometric analysis of bioassay tissue Cicer, showed maximum uptake of 9.41 mg/g and minimum of 1.65 mg/g tissue dry weight for Pb and Zn respectively. The study reveals that enhanced antioxidant responses are associated with substantial proline accumulation indicating induced stress. Ferric reducing antioxidant power assay measuring antioxidant activity was highest in the chickpea seedling treated with Zn, whereas, free radical scavenging activity was highest in the treatments with Mn. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents ranged between 0.24–0.97 and 0.27–1.00 mg/g of dry matter content respectively. Higher Pb and Zn doses seem to elicit higher proline levels therefore, suggesting an extreme condition of induced abiotic stress. Dose dependent protein oxidation coupled with DNA degradation was observed in all treatments, depicting genotoxicity. Unweighted pair-group method arithmetic average analysis presented similarity coefficients between the treatments.


Chickpea Metal toxicity Antioxidants DNA damage Multivariate analysis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Prof. H.S. Srivastava Foundation for Science and Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Studies in BiotechnologyJiwaji UniversityGwaliorIndia
  2. 2.School of Studies in BotanyJiwaji UniversityGwaliorIndia
  3. 3.Department of Bioscience and BiotechnologyBanasthali VidyapithBanasthaliIndia

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