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The stress-buffering effects of cotyledonary leaves of Ricinus communis and the protection thus offered to the true leaves upon exposure to copper stress was performed by analyzing bioaccumulation of Cu and associated metabolic processes in the presence and absence of cotyledonary leaves. One-month-old seedlings of R. communis were treated with various concentrations of CuSO4 for 6 d under hydroponics with quarter strength modified Hoagland medium. Even though the photosynthetic pigments showed a decreasing trend with an increase in CuSO4 concentration and days of exposure in cotyledonary and true leaves, it was significant in true leaves with excised cotyledonary leaves. The results of chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters indicated that toxic levels of CuSO4 do not impart any major negative effect on the photochemistry of true leaves along with cotyledonary leaves. The analysis of osmolality, malondialdehyde, and metabolites showed a significantly increasing trend in true leaves with excised cotyledonary leaves. The above observations were strongly supported by higher Cu bioaccumulation in true leaves with excised cotyledonary leaves. The results suggest that the cotyledonary leaves have got the potential to evade Cu toxicity and thereby R. communis can be effectively used for the phytoremediation of Cu contaminated lands.


P P Sameena, Jos T Puthur. Cotyledonary leaves effectively shield the true leaves in Ricinus communis L. from copper toxicity. International journal of phytoremediation. 2021;23(5):492-504

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PMID: 33001743

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