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Title: Translocation and accumulation of heavy metals in Ocimum basilicum L. plants grown in a mining-contaminated soil
Authors: Dinu, Cristina 
Vasile, Gabriela 
Buleandra, Mihaela 
Popa, Dana Elena 
Gheorghe, Stefania 
Ungureanu, Eleonora-Mihaela 
Keywords: Accumulation factors;Contaminated soil;Heavy metal tolerance;Ocimum basilicum L.;Phytostabilization;Plant behavior
Issue Date: Apr-2020
Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland AG
The evaluation of the ecotoxicity effects of some heavy metals on the plant growth and metal accumulation in Ocimum basilicum L. cultivated on unpolluted and polluted soils represented the objective of the present study.

Materials and methods
The basil aromatic herb was evaluated in a laboratory experiment using soil contaminated with Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn, similar to the one from a mining area. The soils and different organs of the basil plants were analyzed, the total contents of the added elements being determined using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The ability of basil plants to accumulate metals from soil and to translocate them in their organs was evaluated by transfer coefficient, translocation factor, enrichment factor, and geo-accumulation index determinations.

Results and discussion
The basil plants grown in the metal-polluted soil showed stimulation effects comparing with the plants from the control soil. At the end of the exposure period, the plants had a visible increase of biomass and presented inflorescences and the leaves’ green pigment was intensified. The metals gathered differently in plant organs: Cd, Co, Cr, and Pb were accumulated in roots, while Cu, Ni, and Zn in flowers. Cr and Pb exceeded the toxic levels in roots. Also, the heavy metal intake depends on the plant development stages; thus, Cd, Cr, and Pb were accumulated more in mature plant leaves. The Cd and Pb contents were higher than the World Health Organization and European Commission permissible limits.

The experimental results revealed that the basil plants exposed to a mixture of heavy metals have the potential to reduce the metal mobility from soil to plants. Translocation process from roots to flowers and to leaves was observed for Cu, Ni, and Zn, emphasizing a competition between metals. The calculated bioaccumulation factors were insignificant, but Cd and Pb concentrations exceeded the legal limits in the mature plants, being restricted for human or animal consumption.
Journal of Soil and Sediments, 20(4), 2020, pp. 2141-2154,
ISSN: 1439-0108
1614-7480 (on-line)
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