Gene expression, DNA damage and other stress markers in Sinapis alba L. exposed to heavy metals with special reference to sewage sludge application on contaminated sites

Jaskulak, M.; Grobelak, A.; Grosser, A.; Vandenbulcke, F.

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 181: 508-517

2019


ISSN/ISBN: 0147-6513
PMID: 31234065
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.06.025
Accession: 069086340

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Abstract
Bioindicators are promising tools used to detect the long-term effects of selected biosolids on plants development and should be implemented before large-scale supplementation of sewage sludge into the soil. The presented study shows the impact of sewage sludge application on metal-sensitive toxicity biological parameters (biomarkers) in Sinapis alba including: germination, root length, the activity of guaiacol peroxidase, the chlorophyll content, the level of DNA damage and the expression level of Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rbcL) and metallothionein (mt). We evaluated data from selected biomarkers in order to broaden our understanding of plants defense mechanisms against heavy metal contamination and the application of sewage sludge into soils. Overall, in contaminated soil after supplementation with both municipal sewage sludges, an increase in toxicity was noticed in DNA damage, mt and rbcl expression and total chlorophyll content. The supplementation of both soils with municipal sewage sludge caused a two-time induction in the mt expression. Moreover, clean soil supplemented with sewage sludge caused an increase in DNA damage shown as the tail moment from approximately 12 μm on control to 40 μm after supplementation. Even if those biosolids increased the initial germination, roots length, and biomass in comparison to the unamended soil, the toxicity was evidenced with other stress markers. Results showed, that in order to accurately assess the influence of sewage sludge application on plants the use of several specific biomarkers is required for safe land restoration. The conducted study also confirmed, both under biochemical and genotoxic tests, that iron enrichment for biosolids or contaminated soil can significantly reduce the bioavailability and toxicity of other metals.