Assessment of oxidative stress markers and concentrations of selected elements in the leaves of Cassia occidentalis growing wild on a coal fly ash basin
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Assessment of oxidative stress levels and tissue concentrations of elements in plants growing wild on fly ash basins is critical for realistic hazard identification of fly ash disposal areas. Hitherto, levels of oxidative stress markers in plants growing wild on fly ash basins have not been adequately investigated. We report here concentrations of selected metal and metalloid elements and levels of oxidative stress markers in leaves of Cassia occidentalis growing wild on a fly ash basin (Badarpur Thermal Power Station site) and a reference site (Garhi Mandu Van site). Plants growing on the fly ash basin had significantly high foliar concentration of As, Ni, Pb and Se and low foliar concentration of Mn and Fe compared to the plants growing on the reference site. The plants inhabiting the fly ash basin showed signs of oxidative stress and had elevated levels of lipid peroxidation, electrolyte leakage from cells and low levels of chlorophyll a and total carotenoids compared to plants growing at the reference site. The levels of both protein thiols and nonprotein thiols were elevated in plants growing on the fly ash basin compared to plants growing on the reference site. However, no differences were observed in the levels of cysteine, reduced glutathione and oxidized glutathione in plants growing at both the sites. Our study suggests that: (1) fly ash triggers oxidative stress responses in plants growing wild on fly ash basin, and (2) elevated levels of protein thiols and nonprotein thiols may have a role in protecting the plants from environmental stress.
KeywordsFly ash Cassia occidentalis Metal and metalloid elements Lipid peroxidation Thiols
A.L. had Junior and Senior Research Fellowship from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, India. Financial support of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, is acknowledged. We acknowledge the support of Shiv Shankar Prasad Roy in undertaking field work. The views expressed by the corresponding author are his personal and not endorsed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
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