Comparing Effects of Copper and Chromium Treatments on Growth of Cyperus esculentus L. in Field and in Vitro Studies and Further Explanation by Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis

  • Vwioko E. D.* E. D. Plant Biotechnology
  • Digwe K. C. Plant Biotechnology
Keywords: Keywords: Copper; Chromium; Treatments; RFLP; Cyperus esculentus


Abstract: The contamination of agricultural soils by heavy metals following long-term use of
fertilisers, urbanisation and industrialisation raise concerns. The effects of copper (CuSO4) and
chromium (Cr2O3) salt solutions on Cyperus esculentus tubers and plants were studied under in vitro and
potted-field conditions. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of copper and
chromium ions on the growth of Cyperus esculentus. The concentrations of copper and chromium salt
solutions prepared and applied as treatments were 0 ppm, 100 ppm, 200 ppm, 300 ppm, and 400
ppm. In vitro study was set up using petri dishes. Parameters measured were percent germination,
number of plumules and radicles, plumule and radicle lengths. In the field study, percent germination,
plant height, fresh and dry weights were measured. The in vitro and field experiments were laid out as
a completely randomised design with four replications. Germination in the in vitro study was observed
in copper and chromium treated tubers 3 and 6 days after treatment (DAT) respectively. Multiple
radicle and plumule formation per tuber was recorded and this was observed to be metal
concentration-dependent. Results of the field experiment showed that tubers germinated in both
copper and chromium treated soils 5 and 7 days after planting, respectively. Copper solutions
stimulated plant height as compared to control whereas chromium concentrations greater than 100
ppm inhibited plant height. These differences were significant (α = 0.05). The micrograph from the
RFLP analysis revealed alterations of DNA bands obtained for 400 ppm Cu-treated and all (except
100 ppm) Cr-treated plants as compared to DNA bands of control plants. It is concluded that copper
inhibited Cyperus esculentus at 400 ppm only whereas concentrations above 100 ppm chromium affected
the plant negatively.

Author Biographies

Vwioko E. D.* E. D., Plant Biotechnology

Department of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Digwe K. C., Plant Biotechnology

Department of Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.


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