Fluoride Exposure Compromises Gas Exchange of Plants


Fluorine (F-) stands out for its phytotoxic potential, because it accumulates in plants, changes enzymes activity, reduces chlorophyll content and, consequently, affects growth and yield of crop plants. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of F- on leaf gas exchange in coffee and sweet orange plants, compared to sensitive (gladiolus) and tolerant (ryegrass) reference species. Plants grown in pots were exposed to F- in a semi-open mist chamber. The experimental design was completely randomized with treatments defined by the combination of plant species and two intensities of exposure to atmospheric F, with nebulization of HF solutions (low = 0.065 mmol·m-3 and high = 0.260 mmol·m-3) in a mist chamber, as well as with non-exposed control samples. CO2 assimilation (A), transpiration (E), stomatal conductance (gs) and chlorophyll fluorescence rates were measured after 27 days of treatment application. The leaf gas exchange variables in ryegrass and orange plants did not vary in response to the increase in atmospheric F, while an increase in gs and E values was observed in gladiolus and coffee plants. A decrease in A and potential quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) was found for gladiolus plants. On the contrary, an increase of A for coffee plants was associated with the apparent effect previously reported about the loss of leaf stomatal regulation related to the short assessment period of plants in this experiment. Damages caused to the photosynthetic system were reflected in the susceptibility of the evaluated species to the contamination by the element.

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G. Mesquita, E. Machado, R. Machado, H. Cantarella and D. Mattos Jr., "Fluoride Exposure Compromises Gas Exchange of Plants," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 12C, 2013, pp. 16-20. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.412A3003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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