(562a) Effects of Cadmium and Mercury on the Germination of Lolium Perenne

Saldarriaga, J. F. Sr. - Presenter, Universidad de los Andes
Cruz, Y., Universidad de los Andes
Gallego, J. L., Universidad de Medellín
Montoya-Ruiz, C., Universidad de los Andes
The plants germination represents one of the main factors for the development of
technologies of phytoremediation of heavy metals. In this research the effects of
cadmium and mercury on germination time and emergence as markers of toxicity
of the Lolium perenne plant were determined. The seeds were exposed to increasing
concentrations in the range of 0 to 25 mg/L of cadmium (Cd2+) and mercury (Hg2+)
in Petri dishes, by independent experiments carried out in triplicate for 14 days. The
germination rate of seeds exposed to 25 mg/L Hg2+ at day 14 did not show significant
differences with respect to the control group (P-value = 0.6030). A similar behavior
was observed at 25 mg/L Cd2+ (P-value = 0.4140). Concentrations higher than 5 mg/L
Hg2+ decreased root length by 38.7% (P-value = 0.0005), same effect was observed
at 25 mg/L Cd2+ (P-value = 0.0000). The heavy metals Cd and Hg in their inorganic
form present toxic effects on the development of stem and roots of Lolium perenne,
however, suitable conditions of germination and development were observed
within a wide range of concentrations of heavy metals in which the plant can
potentially act as a phytoremediator.