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Growth conditions, elemental accumulation and induced physiological changes in Chinese cabbage



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Chemosphere. 2003 Aug;52(6):1031-40.

Growth conditions, elemental accumulation and induced physiological changes in Chinese cabbage.

Moreno DA1, Víllora G, Ruiz JM, Romero L.

  • 1Departamento de Fisiologi;a Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Granada, Fuentenueva S/N, E-18071, Granada, Spain.


Soils contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and other trace elements are now frequently used for vegetable growing. In this situation, heavy metals and trace elements from these polluted soils may accumulate in the agricultural plants being grown in them and thereby enter the human food chain.

The objectives of this study are to elucidate the effects of growth conditions, manipulated by the crop covers, on the phytoaccumulation of elements, and to investigate the conceivable influences of these conditions on the plant biochemistry. In three consecutive years of field experiments, open air (T(0)), and floating rowcover treatments (T(1): perforated polyethylene 50 micrometers; T(2): polypropylene 17 gm(-2)) were used to produce different environmental conditions for the growth of Chinese cabbage [Brassica rapa L. (Pekinensis group) cv. 'Nagaoka 50'].

Five samplings (whole tops) were carried out from transplanting to harvest and measurements of B, Al, Ag, Si and Ca concentration as well as phenolics (orto-diphenols, total phenols and anthocyanins), pectic fractions, amino acids (histidine, phenylalanine and tyrosine) and polyphenol oxidase activity, were carried out in samples.

The T(1) (perforated polyethylene sheet) gave greater B, Al, Ag and Si concentration and phytoextraction (in weight units) than the open-air control. These findings can help to develop new cost-effective techniques for phytoremediation as the application of plastic covers in the field. The build-up of heavy metals in those crops would make the product less suitable for human consumption.

PMID:  12781236

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