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Effect of Heavy metal stress on spore germination of Pteris confusa T. G. Walker and Pteris argyraea T. Moore

Author(s): Irudayaraj V. | Johnson M. | Priyakumari A.S. | Janani Prabha A.

Journal: Journal of Stress Physiology & Biochemistry
ISSN 1997-0838

Volume: 7;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 207;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Zinc Sulphate | Heavy metal | Spore | Stress

Background: Plants have both constitutive and adaptive mechanisms for coping with the elevated metal concentrations and they are utilized to clean the polluted soil and water. Unlike angiosperms hyperaccumulators, fern hyperaccumulators are equipped with inherent biological characteristics that could be exploited in the phytoremediation strategies aimed at decontaminating polluted sites. Fern spores can be successfully used to screen the hyperaccumualting ferns and also to test the toxicity of the metal contaminated samples. Purpose of the Study: In the present study, a preliminary attempt was made to compare the tolerance capacity of the spores of two ferns; Pteris confusa T. G. Walker and Pteris argyraea T. Moore against the heavy metal zinc (Zinc sulphate). Spores of the two ferns were cultured in Knop’s liquid medium with various concentrations of zinc sulphate (0-200ppm). Results: In the case of P. confusa normal germination was observed in control, 120 ppm and 140 ppm and the germination of spores were failed in 160, 180 and 200 ppm of zinc supplemented cultures. In contrary, P. argyraea showed maximum percentage of spore germination in 140 ppm zinc supplemented cultures and the control and 120 ppm zinc sulphate supplemented cultures were failed to show the germination. The germination percentage and growth rate was decreased in high concentration of zinc sulphate. Rhizoids are showed more tolerance to heavy metal than protonema of P. argyraea. Conclusion: Difference in response of spores to the heavy metal zinc may be due the difference in the hyper-accumulating capacity of the ferns.
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