Microplastics accumulate on pores in seed capsule and delay germination and root growth of the terrestrial vascular plant Lepidium sativum.

08:00 EDT 31st March 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Microplastics accumulate on pores in seed capsule and delay germination and root growth of the terrestrial vascular plant Lepidium sativum."

The impacts of nano- and microplastics (<100 nm and <5 mm, respectively) on terrestrial systems is to the present largely unexplored. Plastic particles are likely to accumulate in these systems primarily by the application of sewage sludge. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of three sizes of plastic particles (50, 500, and 4800 nm) on a terrestrial plant (cress; Lepidium sativum), using a standardized 72 h bioassay. Cress seeds were exposed to five different concentrations of plastics, ranging from 10 to 10 particles mL. Germination rate was significantly reduced after 8 h of exposure for all three sizes of plastics, with increased adverse effect with increasing plastic sizes. Seeds exposed to 4800 nm microplastics showed a germination rate decline from 78% in control to 17% in the highest exposure. No difference in germination rate occurred after 24 h of exposure, regardless of the size of the plastic used. Significant differences in root growth were observed after 24 h, but not after 48 or 72 h of exposure. Impacts on germination are likely due to physical blockage of the pores in the seed capsule by microplastics as shown by confocal microscopy of fluorescent microplastics. In later stages, the microplastics particularly accumulated on the root hairs. This is the first detailed study on the effect of nano- and microplastics on a vascular, terrestrial plant, and our results indicate short-term and transient adverse effects.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Chemosphere
ISSN: 1879-1298
Pages: 774-781


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The initial stages of the growth of SEEDS into a SEEDLING. The embryonic shoot (plumule) and embryonic PLANT ROOTS (radicle) emerge and grow upwards and downwards respectively. Food reserves for germination come from endosperm tissue within the seed and/or from the seed leaves (COTYLEDON). (Concise Dictionary of Biology, 1990)

The region of the stem beneath the stalks of the seed leaves (cotyledons) and directly above the young root of the embryo plant. It grows rapidly in seedlings showing epigeal germination and lifts the cotyledons above the soil surface. In this region (the transition zone) the arrangement of vascular bundles in the root changes to that of the stem. (From Concise Dictionary of Biology, 1990)

The state of failure to complete the process of GERMINATION of an intact viable seed, due to intrinsic physical, molecular, genetic, or physiological parameters under otherwise favourable prevailing conditions.

One or more types of plant seed proteins providing the large amounts of AMINO ACIDS utilized in GERMINATION and SEEDLING growth. As seeds are the major food source from AGRICULTURAL CROPS, seed storage proteins are a major source of DIETARY PROTEINS.

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