Arsenic (As) belongs to heavy metals and its accumulation in plants, besides damaging the organism itself, represents a potential health risk to animal and human consumers. Therefore, contamination of soils and waters with this compound is a serious environmental problem. In this work we focused on investigating a negative impact of As on selected parameters of growth of wheat plants (Triticum aestivum L. cv. Genoveva) grown in hydropony. In the stage of first assimilation leaves we applied a solution of heavy metal (1 mg.kg-1 As3+) on wheat plants. For plants grown under hydropony conditions we observed different plant parameters such as length, weight, amount of fresh and dry biomass. Further we analyzed accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and products membrane lipid peroxidation as indicators of oxidative stress. In addition to these we also measured the content of photosynthetic pigments, maximal quantum yield and proline in plant tissue. Our data indicate reduction of the biomass of shoots forthcoming as a result of exposure of stressed plants to As. Decline of biomass accumulation was accompanied by increase of hydrogen peroxide in plant tissue. In contrast, level of lipid peroxidation was suppressed in stressed shoots. Contents of photosynthetic pigments soundly decreased. Interestingly, fluorescence (Fp=Fm) in stressed wheat shoots increased. Similarly in tested shoots the content of proline was increased. The results indicate that the applied dose of As has a negative impact on the growth and photosynthetic performance of stressed plants. A better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for As resistance and toxicity in plants requires further investigation.
Arsenic, Photosynthesis, Heavy metal, Stress, Wheat