Journal of Stress Physiology & Biochemistry, Vol. 19 No. 2 2023, pp. 101-113 ISSN 1997-0838
Original Text Copyright (cc) 2023 by Dridi, Bouslimi, Brito, Sleimi, Hidouri and Caçador

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Assessment of lanthanum (La) and cerium (Ce) phytotoxicity in a halophyte species: Limbarda crithmoides L.

Nesrine Dridi1, Houda Bouslimi1, Pedro Brito2, Noomene Sleimi1, Saida Hidouri3 and Isabel Caçador4

1 Research Laboratory RME - Resources, Materials and Ecosystems, Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, University of Carthage, Bizerte 7021, Tunisia.
2 Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA), Division of Oceanography and Marine Environment, Av. Dr. Alfredo Magalhães Ramalho, 6, 1495-165, Algés, Portugal.
3  LR12SP13, Faculty of Medicine of Monastir, University of Monastir, Av. Avicenne, Monastir 5000, Tunisia
4  Centro de Ciências do Mar e do Ambiente (MARE), Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Campo Grande, 1749-016, Lisboa, Portugal.


Received January 27, 2023

Rare earth elements (REEs) can harmfully affect the growth and development of several plant species. However, there is a lack of studies providing the effect of REEs on Limbarda crithmoides seedlings. In the present study, the growth parameters, chlorophyll content, macroelement uptake, phenolic compounds and flavonoid contents of the halophyte L. crithmoides were analysed, after 14 days of exposure to increasing concentrations (up to 10 µM) of two light REEs; lanthanum (La) and cerium (Ce), to assess the phytotoxicity level of these REEs in the chosen species. La and Ce contents in the plant tissues were determined as well. Results revealed an inhibitory effect of La and Ce on plant growth; the length and the dry biomass production of the shoots and roots significantly decreased in all REEs concentrations, when compared to the control. Similar trend was recorded in chlorophyll a and b contents in plant leaves. Moreover, La and Ce treatments significantly decreased the uptake of potassium, calcium and magnesium in the shoots and roots of L. crithmoides while the amounts of both La and Ce were found elevated in the same organs. All La and Ce treatments promoted the stimulation of phenolic compound biosynthesis in shoots and roots. According to our experiments, the halophyte L. crithmoides was very sensitive to both La and Ce toxicity.

Key words:    Light REEs, Limbarda crithmoides, growth inhibition, phenolic compounds, macronutrient uptake

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