Indexed on: 22 Apr '11Published on: 22 Apr '11Published in: Chemosphere
Rare earth elements (REEs) have been accumulated in the agricultural environment. Acid rain is a serious environmental issue. In the present work, the effects of lanthanum ion (La(3+)) and acid rain on the growth, photosynthesis and chloroplast ultrastructure in soybean seedlings were investigated using the gas exchange measurements system, chlorophyll fluorometer, transmission electron microscopy and some biochemical techniques. It was found that although the growth and photosynthesis of soybean seedlings treated with the low concentration of La(3+) was improved, the growth and photosynthesis of soybean seedlings were obviously inhibited in the combined treatment with the low concentration of La(3+) and acid rain. At the same time, the chloroplast ultrastructure in the cell of soybean seedlings was destroyed. Under the combined treatment with the high concentration of La(3+) and acid rain, the chloroplast ultrastructure in the cell of soybean seedlings was seriously destroyed, and the growth and of photosynthesis were greatly decreased compared with those of the control, the single treatment with the high concentration of La(3+) and the single treatment with acid rain, respectively. The degree of decrease and destruction on chloroplast ultrastructure depended on the increases in the concentration of La(3+) and acid rain (H(+)). In conclusion, the combined pollution of La(3+) and acid rain obviously destroyed the chloroplast ultrastructure of cell and aggravated the harmful effect of the single La(3+) and acid rain on soybean seedlings. As a new combined pollutant, the harmful effect of REEs ions and acid rain on plant should be paid attention to.