Accumulation, tolerance and impact of aluminium, copper and zinc on growth and nitrate reductase activity of Ceratophyllum demersum (Hornwort)

Umebese, C. E. ; Motajo, A. F. (2008)


Ceratophyllum demersum (hornwort) was subjected to toxic concentrations of Al (3 and 9 mg l -1), Zn (3 and 9 mg l -1) and Cu (2.5 and 7 mg l -1) in culture solutions for 15 days. The higher dose of Al enhanced the chlorophyll content significantly (p<0.05) in the first 6 days of treatment while other treatments caused marked reductions. Nitrate reductase activity (NRA) was significantly reduced (p<0.05) by Al, Cu and Zn toxicity and ceased completely in plants treated with Cu by the 6th day of treatment. Dry biomass and relative growth rate were reduced significantly (p<0.05) by metal treatment. Tolerance index of the plant was low for Cu (21.62 and 13.43% at low and high doses, respectively) and moderate for Zn (63.74 and 54.85%) and Al (72.83 and 68.79%). Accumulation of Al, Zn and Cu was threefold at higher doses compared with the lower doses but the bioconcentration factors (BCF) were very low indicating that this plant is not a hyper accumulator of these metals.