Arsenic Induced Changes in Growth and Physiology of Maize (Zea mays L.) Seedlings and its Possible Amelioration Using Phosphate
The response of maize (Zea mays L.) to different levels of arsenate with or without phosphate was investigated. Arsenic exposure significantly hampered the growth of maize seedlings showing reductions in root and shoot lengths together with reductions in fresh and dry weight. The level of total chlorophyll, chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b and carotenoids decreased in arsenic treated seedlings. Arsenic toxicity was associated with an increase in the activities of the anti-oxidative scavenging enzymes catalase and peroxidase. Arsenic restricted the concentration of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and soluble protein content in maize seedlings. Joint application of phosphate with arsenic showed positive alterations on all parameters tested under the purview of arsenic treatment alone. Thus, phosphate application ameliorated the detrimental effects caused by arsenic.