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Studying the effect of lead and zinc on the plant Mentha spicata

By Παύλος Μπεκιάρογλου


After the end of the experiments and series of analysis, it was established that lead and zinc have a drastic effect on the morphology as well as on the physiology of Mentha spicata. In the first series of experiments, an increase in the chlorotic phenomena on the leaves of the clones of Mentha spicata was observed in proportion to the contamination on their nutrient solutions. However, apart from the chlorosis, deadening stains appeared on the leaves in high concentrations of heavy metal. It was also discovered that the decrease in the root-growth has a logarithmic relation with the increase of heavy metal concentration in the nutrient solution. Lead produces a greater decrease in the root system than zinc, as it was shown in the concentration of 50 μΜ where the root was almost absent. In contrast to the previous phenomena the density of the glands presence on the leaves was not affected by the increase of the pollution. The increase or decrease of the heavy metal concentration did not have any effect on the density. As far as the physiological features are concerned, and especially chlorophyll content in the leave, it was found out that zinc reduces the chlorophyll in the clones more than lead. However, both metals bring about a drastic reduction of chlorophyll, thus creating problems in the photosynthetic activity. In reference to the mortality rate, lead showed a bigger percentage than zinc, proving its more toxicant effect. When the clones grow in a lead or zinc polluted environment, lead infiltrates them easier than zinc. However a two-weeks period is not enough for the lead to reach the leaves, contrary to zinc which moves in all parts of the clones. While observing the cell structure of Mentha spicata it was found out that the effect of the two metals causes a disorganization in basic cell organs such as chloroplasts and mitochondria and a malfunction of the chloroplasts. In the 2nd series of experiments the 3rd week, which was called "recovery", brought about many changes in the morphology and physiology of Mentha spicata clones.

Topics: Μόλυβδος (Pb), Ψευδάργυρος (Zn), Ριζικό σύστημα, Περιεκτικότητα χλωροφύλης, Επίδραση, Συνεπίδραση, Φυσιολογία, Lead ( Pb), Zinc (Zn), Mentha spicata, Roothold system, Chlorophyll content, Effect, Co-effect, Physiology
Publisher: Aristotle University Of Thessaloniki (AUTH)
Year: 2002
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