Effect of radioactive and non-radioactive mercury on wheat germination and the anti-toxic role of glutathione

Karin Popa, Manuela Murariu, Ramona Molnar, Gitta Schlosser, Alexandru Cecal, Gabi Drochioiu

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Studies to test the noxious effect of mercury ions on wheat germination and seedling growth showed that germination rate, shoot length, and fresh weights varied as a function of their concentration in the treatment solutions. At the same concentration, the radioactive mercury proved to be more harmful to the living seeds and seedlings. The detoxification action of glutathione for both radioactive and non-radioactive mercury was also followed. After a seven-day period of germination in the presence of the investigated compounds, the wheat plantlets were cut from the seeds, and their height, weight, and residual radioactivity were measured. The shoot length decreased from 8.1 (blank) to 4.6 cm (non-radioactive mercury) or even to 2.5 cm (203Hg), while glutathione had both an anti-toxic and an anti-radiotoxic effect (6.4 and 6.0 cm, respectively). The root weight of the lot decreased from 1.7 to 0.7 g and 0.4 g, respectively, while glutathione showed a healing action (1.5 and 1.7 g). The radioactive ions accumulated especially in roots (35.5 %), and less in shoots (11.2%). Results were statistically validated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalIsotopes in Environmental and Health Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007



  • Germination
  • Glutathione
  • Mercury
  • Mercury-203
  • Radiotoxicity
  • Toxicity
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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