Zinc and Copper Bioaccumulation in Brassica napus at Flowering and Maturation

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Abstract

The aim of this research was to investigate the capability of Brassica napus to bioaccumulate zinc and copper from artificially contaminated soil at the flowering and maturation phenological stage. The trial was set up in a greenhouse and the plants were cultivated in pots. The agricultural soil utilized was contaminated with zinc and copper sulfate (300 and 600 mg/kg, respectively). The soil and plant samples were simultaneously collected during the flowering (8 weeks after seeding) and maturation (harvest time, 13 weeks after seeding) stages, and the heavy metal concentrations were then analyzed. The production of vegetable biomass and the length of the roots were measured. The results showed that B. napus accumulated zinc and copper and translocated these elements in different ways in the harvestable parts of the plants. The zinc bioaccumulation was higher than that of copper. At flowering, zinc was mainly accumulated in the shoots (stems + leaves). Copper was particularly accumulated in the roots, during the entire life cycle. Taking into account the biomass production, the highest heavy metal removal by the shoots (above-ground parts) occurred at the flowering stage for both zinc and copper. The high bioavailability of zinc and copper in the soil did not severely affect the root length and the biomass production.

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