Influence of Heavy Metals on Seed Germination and Early Seedling Growth in Crambe abyssinica, a Potential Industrial Oil Crop for Phytoremediation


The influence of essential (Cu, Ni and Zn) and non-essential heavy metals (Hg, Cr, Pb and Cd) on seed germination and early seedling growth in industrial oil crop Crambe abyssinica was evaluated under laboratory conditions. Our results indicated that among the 7 heavy metals tested only Cu and Hg significantly (P < 0.01) decreased Crambe seed germination in a dose-dependent manner at higher concentrations while certain Cr concentrations significantly increased the seed germination (P < 0.05). All the 7 heavy metals decreased significantly relative root length, shoot length and fresh seedling weight in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.01). The heavy metals except Ni decreased relative root length first, then shoot length or fresh seedling weight, and finally seed germination. Ni seemed to influence the relative fresh seedling weight first, then shoot length, root length and finally seed germination at lower concentrations, but the decrease in relative root length became faster when the Ni concentrations were increased. Our results indicated that Crambe is tolerant or moderately tolerant to the heavy metals tested except Ni and can be improved for phytoremediation of soils contaminated by heavy metals.

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Hu, J. , Deng, Z. , Wang, B. , Zhi, Y. , Pei, B. , Zhang, G. , Luo, M. , Huang, B. , Wu, W. and Huang, B. (2015) Influence of Heavy Metals on Seed Germination and Early Seedling Growth in Crambe abyssinica, a Potential Industrial Oil Crop for Phytoremediation. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 150-156. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.61017.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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