Vanadium toxicity in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) grown in red soil: Effects on cell death, ROS and antioxidative systems

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2018 Aug 30;158:139-144. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2018.04.022. Epub 2018 Apr 24.


The agricultural soil contaminated with heavy metals induces toxic effects on plant growth. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of vanadium (V) on growth, H2O2 and enzyme activities, cell death, ion leakage, and at which concentration; V induces the toxic effects in chickpea plants grown in red soil. The obtained results indicated that the biomass (fresh and dry) and lengths of roots and shoots were significantly decreased by V application, and roots accumulated more V than shoots. The enzyme activities (SOD, CAT, and POD) and ion leakage were increased linearly with increasing V concentrations. However, the protein contents, and tolerance indices were significantly declined with the increasing levels of V. The results about the cell death indicated that the cell viability was badly damaged when plants were exposed to higher V, and induction of H2O2 might be involved in this cell death. In conclusion, all the applied V levels affected the enzymatic activities, and induced the cell death of chickpea plants. Furthermore, our results also confirmed that vanadium ≥ 130 mg kg-1 induced detrimental effects on chickpea plants. Additional investigation is needed to clarify the mechanistic explanations of V toxicity at the molecular level and gene expression involved in plant cell death.

Keywords: Cell death; Chickpea; Ion leakage; Oxidative stress; Vanadium.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Cell Death
  • Cicer / drug effects*
  • Cicer / enzymology
  • Cicer / growth & development
  • Cicer / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants / toxicity*
  • Vanadium / toxicity*


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Vanadium
  • Hydrogen Peroxide