Comparative ecotoxicity of single and binary mixtures exposures of cadmium and zinc on growth and biomarkers of Lemna gibba.Ecotoxicology. 2020 Jul; 29(5):571-583.E
In the present study, single and mixture effects of cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) on Lemna gibba were analyzed and compared using growth parameters, based on frond number and fresh weight, and biochemical parameters, such as pigment, protein content and activity of antioxidant enzymes. Plants were exposed for 7 days to these metals in nutrient solution. Single and mixture exposures affected plant growth and the biomarkers of the antioxidant response. Considering the growth parameters, Cd was found to be much more toxic than Zn. IC50-7d, based on growth rate calculated on frond number, were 17.8 and 76.73 mg/L, and on fresh weight were 1.08 and 76.93 mg/L, for Cd and Zn respectively. For Cd, LOEC values were obtained at 2.06 and 1.03 mg/L, for frond number and fresh weight respectively; while for Zn, at 20.1 and 74.6 mg/L. A high toxicity effect, considering the same response variables, was observed in plants exposed to the mixtures. Three fixed ratios, based on toxic units (TU) were assayed, ratio 1: 2/3 Cd-1/3 Zn, ratio 2: 1/2 Cd-1/2 Zn and ratio 3: 1/3 Cd-2/3 Zn. Ratio 3 (where Zn was added in higher proportion) was the less toxic. All concentrations of Ratio 1 and 2 significantly inhibited plant growth, showing a 100% inhibition of growth rate at the highest concentrations when based on frond number. Catalase (CAT; EC 18.104.22.168), ascorbate peroxidase (APOX; EC 22.214.171.124) and guaiacol peroxidase (GPOX; EC 126.96.36.199) activities in single metals assays were higher than controls. In mixture tests, the activity of APOX and GPOX was significantly stimulated in plants exposed to all evaluated combinations, while CAT was mainly stimulated in Ratio 3. It was observed that the activity of the enzymes was increased in the mixtures compared with similar concentrations evaluated individually. APOX activity was observed to fit the CA model and following a concentration-response pattern. The response of this antioxidant enzyme could serve as a sensitive stressor biomarker for Cd-Zn interactions. Frond number in Cd-Zn mixtures was not well predicted from dissolved metal concentration in solution using concentration addition (CA) as reference model, as results showed that toxicity was more than additive, with an average of ΣTU = 0.75. This synergistic effect was observed up to 50 mg Zn/L in the mixture, but when it was present in higher concentrations a less than additive effect was observed, indicating a protective effect of Zn. A synergistic and dose-ratio deviations from CA model were also observed.