Differential physiological responses and tolerance to potentially toxic elements in Primula forbesii Franch

Environmental pollution caused by potentially toxic elements (PTEs) has become a global problem that endangers environmental sustainability due to industrial, agricultural, and urban pollution. Primula forbesii Franch. (a synonym of Primula filipes G. Watt.) is a biennial flower native to China with excellent stress resistance and ornamental value. In this study, we examined the phenotypic traits, growth indexes, and physiological properties of P. forbesii in response to five representative PTEs (Cd, Ni, Cr(III), Cu, and Zn) under hydroponic culture conditions. High concentrations of Zn and Cr had little effect on the growth and physiological properties of P. forbesii, indicating that the species has strong tolerance to Zn and Cr stress. Alternatively, high concentrations of Cd, Ni, and Cu seriously affected plant growth and development, resulting in leaf chlorosis and even death, and therefore may have a serious negative impact on the growth of P. forbesii. However, activity levels of some antioxidant enzymes and osmotic regulatory substances remained high, indicating that P. forbesii resisted PTE stress by regulating physiological and biochemical metabolism to a certain extent. Furthermore, principal component analysis and membership function were used to comprehensively evaluate P. forbesii resistance to PTEs. These analyses revealed that P. forbesii exhibits distinct sensitivities and physiological responses to different PTEs and suggested that the resistance to five PTEs in decreasing order is Zn > Cr > Cd > Cu > Ni. These results provide a theoretical basis for the future application of P. forbesii in environments with PTE pollution and may expand its practical utilization.

Jia, Yin & Yin, Xiancai & Zhao, Jian & Pan, Yuanzhi & Jiang, Beibei & Liu, Qinglin & Li, Yifeng. (2023). Differential physiological responses and tolerance to potentially toxic elements in Primula forbesii Franch. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 1-17. 10.1007/s11356-023-27259-9. 

Read the complete paper at researchgate.net

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