Lead stress in seedlings of Avicennia marina, a common mangrove species in South China, with and without cotyledons

Zhong Zheng Yan, Lin Ke, Nora Fung Yee Tam

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57 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of lead (Pb; 0-1000 mg L-1) stress on the growth and biochemical responses of seedlings of Avicennia marina were examined, with and without cotyledons. After 50 days exposure to Pb, the growth of A. marina was not affected at low concentrations (0-50 mg L-1 Pb). Roots tolerated to high Pb concentrations, with a significant reduction in biomass only at 1000 mg L-1 Pb. In leaves and stems, 500 mg L-1 Pb already caused a significant decline in biomass (0.6-fold). Accumulation of Pb occurred mainly in roots, with some accumulation in cotyledons but very little in leaves. Pb concentrations in both roots and cotyledons were proportional to the Pb levels in the substrate (y = 25.945x - 4281, r2 = 0.67, P = 0.001 for roots, and y = 0.249x + 45.636, r2 = 0.879, P < 0.001 for leaves). In treatments with 500 and 1000 mg L-1 Pb, nitrogen concentrations in cotyledons were higher, while the carbon to nitrogen ratios were significantly lower than in the control without Pb. The Pb levels had significant positive effects on sugar content, MDA concentration and POD activity in both roots and leaves, while the removal of cotyledons significantly decreased the POD activity and MDA content in roots A. marina seedlings according to the two-way multivariate analysis of variance test. The sugar content in the cotyledon of Pb-treated seedlings was significantly lower than that in the control (without Pb), suggesting that more carbohydrate reserves (e.g., sugar) stored in cotyledons had been mobilized to leaves and even roots under Pb treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalAquatic Botany
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Heavy metal
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Mangroves
  • Peroxidase activity
  • Sugar content


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