Risk assessment of cadmium-contaminated soil on plant DNA damage using RAPD and physiological indices

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Impact assessment of contaminants in soil is an important issue in environmental quality study and remediation of contaminated land. A random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) 'fingerprinting' technique was exhibited to detect genotoxin-induced DNA damage of plants from heavy metal contaminated soil. This study compared the effects occurring at molecular and population levels in barley seedlings exposed to cadmium (Cd) contamination in soil. Results indicate that reduction of root growth and increase of total soluble protein level in the root tips of barley seedlings occurred with the ascending Cd concentrations. For the RAPD analyses, nine 10-base pair (bp) random RAPD primers (decamers) with 60-70% GC content were found to produce unique polymorphic band patterns and subsequently were used to produce a total of 129 RAPD fragments of 144-2639 base pair in molecular size in the root tips of control seedlings. Results produced from nine primers indicate that the changes occurring in RAPD profiles of the root tips following Cd treatment included alterations in band intensity as well as gain or loss of bands compared with the control seedlings. New amplified fragments at molecular size from approximately 154 to 2245 bp appeared almost for 10, 20 and 40 mg L-1 Cd with 9 primers (one-four new polymerase chain reaction, (PCR) products), and the number of missing bands enhanced with the increasing Cd concentration for nine primers. These results suggest that genomic template stability reflecting changes in RAPD profiles were significantly affected and it compared favourably with the traditional indices such as growth and soluble protein level at the above Cd concentrations. The DNA polymorphisms detected by RAPD can be applied as a suitable biomarker assay for detection of the genotoxic effects of Cd stress in soil on plants. As a tool in risk assessment the RAPD assay can be used in characterisation of Cd hazard in soil. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Liu, W., Yang, Y. S., Li, P. J., Zhou, Q. X., Xie, L. J., & Han, Y. P. (2009). Risk assessment of cadmium-contaminated soil on plant DNA damage using RAPD and physiological indices. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 161(2–3), 878–883. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.04.038

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