Physiological responses of two duckweed species, Lemna gibba and Lemna minor, to hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] were studied in axenic cultures using short-term (48 h) treatments by K2Cr2O7 (0-200 μM). Chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence parameters and photosynthetic pigment composition of plants were screened to determine the effects of Cr(VI) exposures. The two duckweed species exhibited different sensitivity in the applied Cr(VI) concentration range. Chl fluorescence parameters of dark-adapted and light-adapted plants and electron transport inducibility were more sensitive to Cr(VI) in L. minor than in L. gibba. We also found fundamental differences in quantum yield of regulated, Y(NPQ), and nonregulated, Y(NO), non-photochemical quenching between the two species. As Cr(VI) concentration increased in the growth medium, L. minor responded with considerable increase of Y(NPQ) with a parallel significant increase of Y(NO). By contrast, in L. gibba only 200 μM Cr(VI) in the growth medium resulted in elevation of Y(NPQ) while Y(NO) remained more or less constant within the regarding Cr(VI) concentration range during 48 h. Photosynthetic pigment content did not change considerably during the short-term Cr(VI) treatment but decrease of Chl a/b and increase of Car/Chl ratios were observed in good accordance with the changes in Chl fluorescence parameters. The data suggest that various duckweed species respond with different sensitivity to the same ambient concentrations of Cr(VI) in the growth medium, and presumably to other environmental stresses too, which may have an influence on their competitive relations when heavy metal pollution occurs in aquatic ecosystem.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science