Rare Trace Elements in Plants: Translocation, Accumulation and Toxicity

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Toxicity Reduction and Environmental Remediation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 4744

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Institute of Earth Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
Interests: biogeochemistry of poorly studied trace elements; phytoremediation of contaminated soils; modern analytical techniques; multivariate statistical analysis; circadian fluctuations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The literature on trace elements in the environment is extensive. So far, however, less than twenty elements have been recognized as essential nutrients. In addition, there are numerous publications on some so-called heavy metals. Meanwhile, it seems reasonable that all chemical elements are involved in specific biochemical processes, and in due course, their biological role can be appreciated. Insufficient quality of analytical techniques is probably one of the reasons information on the significance or toxicity of the elements is still limited. With the development of new methods, data on the biogeochemistry of previously poorly studied trace elements will undoubtedly expand.

Although some of the research has recently shifted to the study of “new” trace elements, the available experimental results are still scarce and often contradictory. This is due to complex biogeochemical processes and various factors affecting the uptake of trace elements. This Special Issue on “Rare Trace Elements in Plants: Translocation, Accumulation and Toxicity” is devoted to the biogeochemistry of trace elements with a particular focus on ultra trace elements of unknown biological significance. We would like to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue and present new experimental data on various aspects of analytical chemistry, rhizosphere chemistry, and the environmental chemistry of poorly studied trace elements, as well as factors affecting the bioavailability of the elements in soil, statistical models, and other applications.

Dr. Irina Shtangeeva
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • poorly studied trace elements
  • phytoextraction
  • bioaccumulation
  • time variability
  • interaction with essential nutrients
  • terrestrial biogeochemical cycles

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1251 KiB  
Article
The Uptake of Rare Trace Elements by Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)
by Hayley Jensen, Niklas Lehto, Peter Almond, Sally Gaw and Brett Robinson
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110929 - 15 Nov 2023
Viewed by 741
Abstract
Technological development has increased the use of chemical elements that have hitherto received scant scientific attention as environmental contaminants. Successful management of these rare trace elements (RTEs) requires elucidation of their mobility in the soil–plant system. We aimed to determine the capacity of [...] Read more.
Technological development has increased the use of chemical elements that have hitherto received scant scientific attention as environmental contaminants. Successful management of these rare trace elements (RTEs) requires elucidation of their mobility in the soil–plant system. We aimed to determine the capacity of Lolium perenne (a common pasture species) to tolerate and accumulate the RTEs Be, Ga, In, La, Ce, Nd, and Gd in a fluvial recent soil. Cadmium was used as a reference as a well-studied contaminant that is relatively mobile in the soil–plant system. Soil was spiked with 2.5–283 mg kg−1 of RTE or Cd salts, representing five, 10, 20, and 40 times their background concentrations in soil. For Be, Ce, In, and La, there was no growth reduction, even at the highest soil concentrations (76, 1132, 10.2, and 874 mg kg−1, respectively), which resulted in foliar concentrations of 7.1, 12, 0.11, and 50 mg kg−1, respectively. The maximum no-biomass reduction foliar concentrations for Cd, Gd, Nd, and Ga were 0.061, 0.1, 7.1, and 11 mg kg−1, respectively. Bioaccumulation coefficients ranged from 0.0030–0.95, and increased Ce < In < Nd ≅ Gd < La ≅ Be ≅ Ga < Cd. Beryllium and La were the RTEs most at risk of entering the food chain via L. perenne, as their toxicity thresholds were not reached in the ranges tested, and the bioaccumulation coefficient (plant/soil concentration quotient) trends indicated that uptake would continue to increase at higher soil concentrations. In contrast, In and Ce were the elements least likely to enter the food chain. Further research should repeat the experiments in different soil types or with different plant species to test the robustness of the findings. Full article
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19 pages, 1998 KiB  
Article
Accumulation and Translocation of Rare Trace Elements in Plants near the Rare Metal Enterprise in the Subarctic
by Eugenia Krasavtseva, Victoria Maksimova, Marina Slukovskaya, Tatiana Ivanova, Irina Mosendz and Irina Elizarova
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11110898 - 02 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 921
Abstract
Mining activities create disturbed and polluted areas in which revegetation is complicated, especially in northern areas. For the first time, the state of the ecosystems in the impact zone of tailings formed during the processing of rare earth element deposits in the Subarctic [...] Read more.
Mining activities create disturbed and polluted areas in which revegetation is complicated, especially in northern areas. For the first time, the state of the ecosystems in the impact zone of tailings formed during the processing of rare earth element deposits in the Subarctic have been studied. This work aimed to reveal aspects of accumulation and translocation of trace and biogenic elements in plants (Avenella flexuosa (L.) Drejer, Salix sp., and Betula pubescens Ehrh.) that are predominantly found in primary ecosystems on the tailings of loparite ores processing. The chemical composition of soil, initial and washed plant samples was analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Factor analysis revealed that anthropogenic and biogenic factors affected the plants’ chemical composition. A deficiency of nutrients (Ca, Mg, Mn) in plants growing on tailings was found. The absorption of REE (Ce, La, Sm, Nd) by A. flexuosa roots correlated with the soil content of these elements and was maximal in the hydromorphic, which had a high content of organic matter. The content of these elements in leaves in the same site was minimal; the coefficient of REE bioaccumulation was two orders of magnitude less than in the other two sites. The high efficiency of dust capturing and the low translocation coefficient of trace elements allow us to advise A. flexuosa for remediation of REE-contained tailings and soils. Full article
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10 pages, 1105 KiB  
Article
Temporal Variability of Gallium in Natural Plants
by Irina Shtangeeva
Toxics 2023, 11(8), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11080675 - 07 Aug 2023
Viewed by 927
Abstract
The aim of the research was to study the distribution of gallium (Ga) in rhizosphere soil and in plants growing under natural conditions in uncontaminated sites, with an emphasis on temporal fluctuations of Ga concentration in plants. For this purpose, two field experiments [...] Read more.
The aim of the research was to study the distribution of gallium (Ga) in rhizosphere soil and in plants growing under natural conditions in uncontaminated sites, with an emphasis on temporal fluctuations of Ga concentration in plants. For this purpose, two field experiments were conducted in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2019 and 2020, at two sites. Three widespread grasses (couch grass, plantain, and dandelion) were chosen for the experiments. ICP–MS analytical technique was applied for the determination of Ga. All plants were capable of accumulating Ga, but the uptake of Ga was different in different plant species, although the plants grew under the same conditions. It can be assumed that one of the main reasons for such differences was the belonging of the plants to different botanical classes, where biochemical processes can proceed differently. The concentration of Ga in plants and rhizosphere soil varied in the daytime. The daily fluctuations of Ga in different plant species were often completely different and did not resemble the temporal fluctuations of Ga in rhizosphere soil. These short-term variations were due to natural reasons and should be considered when collecting plant and soil samples. Full article
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16 pages, 1104 KiB  
Article
Human Health Risk Assessment to the Consumption of Medicinal Plants with Melliferous Potential from the Romanian South-Eastern Region
by Lucica Barbeș, Alina Bărbulescu and Cristian Ştefan Dumitriu
Toxics 2023, 11(6), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11060520 - 09 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1484
Abstract
This study presents the impact on human health by consuming medicinal herbs with high melliferous potential (HMPs) from botanical areas with different pollution levels. First, the bioaccumulation of the plants’ parts has been determined. The study assessed the potential health risks associated with [...] Read more.
This study presents the impact on human health by consuming medicinal herbs with high melliferous potential (HMPs) from botanical areas with different pollution levels. First, the bioaccumulation of the plants’ parts has been determined. The study assessed the potential health risks associated with the ingestion of various mineral species (macroelements—K, Ca, Mg, Na; microelements—Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and one trace element Cd) from three types of HMPs (Sambucus nigra (SnL), Hypericum perforatum (Hp), and Tilia tomentosa (Tt)). The average concentrations of these elements were not similar even in the same type of HMPs. Nevertheless, all samples contained detectable levels of the studied elements. The average concentrations of the studied elements were very low (significantly lower than the legal limit set by the WHO). The study’s findings indicated that the potential health risks associated with ingesting the elements in HMPs were within acceptable limits for children and adults. The hazard quotient (HQ) for Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, and Cd and the hazard index (HI) for the minerals from HMPs were significantly lower than the acceptable limit (HQ and HI = 1). Similarly, the carcinogenic risk for chemical substances (Riskccs) were lower than or close to the acceptable limit (1 × 10−4). Full article
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