Biochemical and Physiological Responses of Three Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) Cultivars Grown Under Cr6+ Stress

  • O. DichalaEmail author
  • I. Therios
  • M. Koukourikou-Petridou
  • A. Papadopoulos
  • T. Sotiropoulos
Original Paper


The present investigation assesses the physiological and biochemical responses of pomegranate plants (Punica granatum L.) to increased concentrations of hexavalent chromium (Cr6+) after 150 days of growth under in vivo conditions. The tested cultivars (cvs) were ‘Wonderful’, ‘Acco’, and ‘Ermioni’. The aim of this research was to study accumulation of total Cr and its distribution in leaves and roots, as well as its effects on growth, total chlorophyll (a + b), carotenoids, porphyrins, phenols, flavonoids, and antioxidant capacity (FRAP assay) of leaves. The measured parameters where the total fresh weight of leaves and roots; the total Cr concentration of leaves and roots; and the chlorophyll, carotenoids, porphyrins, and carbohydrate concentration. Furthermore, total phenols, flavonoids, and FRAP were measured. The results indicated that addition of Cr6+ in the nutrient solution caused augmentation of chromium concentration in roots and leaves of pomegranate plants. Total Cr in roots was 11–16 times greater than in leaves. Concerning porphyrin concentration, ‘Wonderful’ was the most negatively affected cultivar. Total phenols, flavonoids, and FRAP values increased due to Cr6+ treatment. Chromium concentration of 20 and 40 mg L−1 increased significantly chromium level of leaves and roots in pomegranate plants. ‘Ermioni’ accumulates less Cr in leaves, in comparison with the other cvs, and has greater chlorophyll, phenol, and flavonoid concentration and FRAP value. ‘Ermioni’ could be considered a more tolerant cv to Cr6+ toxicity compared with ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Acco’.


Biochemical parameters Chromium Cultivar effect Heavy metal Pomegranate 



We would like to express our sincere gratitude to G. Kostelenos nurseries, for kindly providing the pomegranate plants. Also, our sincere thanks to the laboratory staff of Institute of Soil and Water Resources, for their technical assistance in the inorganic analyses.

Funding Information

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and of the Institute of Soil and Water Resources, Hellenic Agricultural Organization Demeter.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Sociedad Chilena de la Ciencia del Suelo 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Biology of Horticultural CropsAristotle UniversityThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Hellenic Agricultural Organization – DemeterInstitute of Soil and Water ResourcesThermiGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Pomology, School of AgricultureAristotle UniversityThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.Institute of Soil and Water ResourcesHellenic Agricultural Organization DemeterThermiGreece
  5. 5.Department of Deciduous Fruit Growing in NaoussaInstitute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources, Hellenic Agricultural OrganizationNaoussaGreece

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