Indexed on: 24 Jun '14Published on: 24 Jun '14Published in: Chemosphere
This study shows the direct effect of atmospheric particulate matter on plant growth. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants were grown for 18d directly on PM10 collected on quartz fiber filters. Organic and elemental carbon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contents were analyzed on all the tested filters. The toxicity indicators (i.e., seed germination, root elongation, shoot and/or fresh root weight, chlorophyll and carotenoids content) were quantified to study the negative and/or positive effects in the plants via root uptake. Substantial differences were found in the growth of the root apparatus with respect to that of the control plants. A 17-58% decrease of primary root elongation, a large amount of secondary roots and a decrease in shoot (32%) and root (53-70%) weights were found. Quantitative analysis of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) indicated that an oxidative burst in response to abiotic stress occurred in roots directly grown on PM10, and this detrimental effect was also confirmed by the findings on the chlorophyll content and chlorophyll-to-carotenoid ratio.