Phytotoxicity of mercury in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.) Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated the phytotoxicity of mercury to Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.). Two common cultivars (Florida Broad Leaf and Long-standing) were grown hydroponically in a mercury-spiked solution. Mercury exhibited a significant phytotoxicity in these two cultivars of Indian mustard at elevated concentrations (>or=2 mg L(-1)). Mercury uptake induced a significant reduction in both biomass and leaf relative water content. Microscopy studies indicated that elevated mercury concentrations in plants significantly changed leaf cellular structure: thickly stained areas surrounding the vascular bundles; decreases in the number of palisade and spongy parenchyma cells; and reduced cell size and clotted depositions. The palisade chloroplasts exhibited decreases in their amounts and starch grains as well as a loss of spindle shape. However, due to high accumulation of mercury in plants, especially in the roots, Indian mustard might be a potential candidate plant for phytofiltration of contaminated water and phytostabilization of mercury-contaminated soils.

author list (cited authors)

  • Shiyab, S., Chen, J., Han, F. X., Monts, D. L., Matta, F. B., Gu, M., & Su, Y. i.

citation count

  • 62

publication date

  • July 2008