Mechanisms Involved in Photosynthetic Apparatus Protection Against Lead Toxicity

  • Krzysztof TokarzEmail author
  • Barbara Piwowarczyk
  • Wojciech Makowski
Part of the Radionuclides and Heavy Metals in the Environment book series (RHME)


Lead is one of the most toxic trace elements influencing plant growth and development processes including photosynthesis. Although lead is characterized by low mobility, it can get into the plant and after destroying physical barrier (Casparian strip), enters the xylem and translocates to the aerial parts of a plant affecting photosynthetic apparatus in both indirect and direct ways.

Directly Pb impacts on the number and ultrastructure of chloroplasts, the photosynthetic pigments synthesis, activity and efficiency of Oxygen Evolving Complex, Photosystem II Reaction Center, membrane transporters, Thioredoxin System and the Calvin-Benson Cycle effectiveness as well as synthesis and distribution of carbohydrates. Indirectly, Pb impairs plants’ redox state, leading to ROS generation, wherein the photosynthetic apparatus might be source as well as objective of ROS action. In order to survive in such conditions, plants have developed a number of mechanisms protecting their photosynthetic apparatus against toxic effects of Pb.


Lead Photosynthetic apparatus Photosynthesis Photosystem II Electron transport Chloroplast ROS 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krzysztof Tokarz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barbara Piwowarczyk
    • 1
  • Wojciech Makowski
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Agriculture in Krakow, Institute of Plant Biology and BiotechnologyKrakówPoland

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