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Zayneb, C.; Bassem, K.; Zeineb, K.; Grubb, C. D.; Noureddine, D.; Hafedh, M.; Amine, E. Physiological responses of fenugreek seedlings and plants treated with cadmium Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 10679-10689, (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s11356-015-4270-8

The bioaccumulation efficiency of cadmium (Cd) by fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) was examined using different concentrations of CdCl2. The germination rate was similar to control except at 10 mM Cd. However, early seedling growth was quite sensitive to the metal from the lowest Cd level. Accordingly, amylase activity was reduced substantially on treatment of seeds with 0.5, 1, and 10 mM Cd. Cadmium also affected various other plant growth parameters. Its accumulation was markedly lower in shoots as compared to roots, reducing root biomass by almost 50 %. Plants treated with 1 and 5 mM Cd presented chlorosis due to a significant reduction in chlorophyll b especially. Furthermore, at Cd concentrations greater than 0.1 mM, plants showed several signs of oxidative stress; an enhancement in root hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) level and in shoot malondialdehyde (MDA) content was observed. Conversely, antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and catalase (CAT)) increased in various plant parts. Likewise, total phenolic and flavonoid contents reached their highest values in the 0.5 mM Cd treatment, consistent with their roles in quenching low concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Consequently, maintaining oxidant and antioxidant balance may permit fenugreek to hyperaccumulate Cd and allow it to be employed in extremely Cd polluted soils for detoxification purposes.
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