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The effect of heavy metals on the leaf plasma membrane electron transport systems was investigated in connection with the tissue Fe concentration in Fe-sufficient and Fe-deficient cucumber leaves. Ten M μPb in the nutrient solution inhibited leaf ferricyanide reduction by 20–26%, whereas 10 M μCd had a more drastic effect, with 80–83% inhibition. Ferricyanide reduction decreased by 14% when 1 mM Pb was applied in situ by vacuum infiltration into control leaf discs, whereas it decreased by 40% when 0.1 mM Cd was applied. Ferricyanide reduction was completely inhibited by 1 mM Cd. The ferricyanide reduction values were correlated with the heavy metal, Fe and chlorophyll concentrations in the leaves. A significant linear correlation was only found with the chlorophyll concentration. The data suggest that there are also direct effects on membranebound reductases, but these are of less significance. Using differentially Fe-deficient plants (grown with 0 to 300 nM Fe in the nutrient solution), a chlorophyll concentration of 0.9–1.0 mg g −1 fresh weight was estimated as the threshold for achieving the ferricyanide reduction levels found in the controls.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: J. Yao, F. Wang, L. Tian, Y. Zhou, H. Chen, K. Chen, N. Gai, R. Zhuang, T. Maskow, B. Ceccanti, and G. Zaray


Using TAM III multi-channel calorimetry combined with direct microorganism counting (bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi) under laboratory conditions, we determined the microbial population count, resistance and activity toward cadmium (Cd(II)) and hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) toxicity in soil. The thermokinetic parameters, which can represent soil microbial activity, were calculated from power-time curves of soil microbial activity obtained by microcalorimetric measurement. Simultaneous application of the two methods showed that growth rate constant (k), peak-heat output power (P max) and the number of living microorganisms decreased with increasing concentration of Cd and Cr. The accumulation of Cr on E. coli was conducted by HPLC-ICP-MS. Cr6+ accumulation by Escherichia coli was increased steadily with increasing Cr6+ concentration. The results revealed that the change in some thermo-kinetic parameters could have good corresponding relationship with metal accumulation. Our work also suggests that microcalorimetry is a fast, simple, more sensitive, on-line and in vitro method that can be easily performed to study the toxicity of different species of heavy metals on microorganism compared to other biological methods, and can combine with other analytic methods to study the interaction mechanism between environmental toxicants and microbes.

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