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Enzymatic Activity of Alfalfa in a Phenanthrene-contaminated Environment

Authors: Anna Yu. Muratova, Vera V. Kapitonova, Marina P. Chernyshova, Olga V. Turkovskaya


This research was undertaken to study enzymatic activity in the shoots, roots, and rhizosphere of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) grown in quartz sand that was uncontaminated and contaminated with phenanthrene at concentrations of 10 and 100 mg kg-1. The higher concentration of phehanthrene had a distinct phytotoxic effect on alfalfa, inhibiting seed germination energy, plant survival, and biomass accumulation. The plant stress response to the environmental pollution was an increase in peroxidase activity. Peroxidases were the predominant enzymes in the alfalfa shoots and roots. The peroxidase profile in the shoots differed from that in the roots and had different isoenzyme numbers. 2,2'-Azinobis-(3-ethylbenzo-thiazoline-6-sulphonate) (ABTS) peroxidase was predominant in the shoots, and 2,7-diaminofluorene (2,2-DAF) peroxidase was predominant in the roots. Under the influence of phenanthrene, the activity of 2,7-DAF peroxidase increased in the shoots, and the activity of ABTS peroxidase increased in the roots. Alfalfa root peroxidases were the prevalent enzyme systems in the rhizosphere sand. Examination of the activity of alfalfa root peroxidase toward phenanthrene revealed the possibility of involvement of the plant enzyme in rhizosphere degradation of the PAH.

Keywords: Medicago sativa, enzymatic activity, peroxidase, phenanthrene

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