Physiological and biochemical effect of silver on the aquatic plant Lemna gibba L.: Evaluation of commercially available product containing colloidal silver.

Research paper by Martina M Varga, Janja J Horvatić, Lara L Barišić, Zdenko Z Lončarić, Maja M Dutour Sikirić, Ina I Erceg, Aleksandra A Kočić, Ivna I Štolfa Čamagajevac

Indexed on: 07 Dec '18Published on: 07 Dec '18Published in: Aquatic Toxicology


This paper aims to evaluate the effects of a product containing colloidal silver in the aquatic environment, using duckweed Lemna gibba as a model plant. Therefore, growth parameters, photosynthetic pigments content and protein content as physiological indices were evaluated. Changes in the content of non-enzymatic antioxidants and activity of several antioxidant enzymes, alongside with the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidation end-products were assessed to explore the potential of colloidal silver to induce oxidative stress. The commercially available colloidal silver product contained a primary soluble form of silver. The treatment with colloidal silver resulted in significant physiological and biochemical changes in L. gibba plants and a consequent reduction of growth. Accumulation of silver caused altered nutrient balance in the plants as well as a significant decrease in photosynthetic pigments content and protein concentration. The antioxidative response of L. gibba plants to treatment with colloidal silver was inadequate to protect the plants from oxidative stress caused by metal accumulation. Silver caused concentration-dependent and time-dependent hydrogen peroxide accumulation as well as the elevation of lipid peroxidation levels in L. gibba plants. The use of commercially available products containing colloidal silver, and consequent accumulation of silver, both ionic and nanoparticle form in the environment, represents a potential source of toxicity to primary producers in the aquatic ecosystem. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.