Physiological and biochemical responses of rice (Oryza sativa L.) to phenanthrene and pyrene

J. H. Li, Y. Gao, S. C. Wu, K. C. Cheung, X. R. Wang, Ming Hung WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Phenanthrene (Phe) and pyrene (Pyr) are two typical polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in contaminated soil. This study investigated physiological and biochemical responses of rice (Oryza sativa L.) to PAH stress after they were planted in soils contaminated with Phe and Pyr, in the presence or absence of a PAH-degrading bacteria (Acinetobacteria sp.). A number of parameters including biomass and water, chlorophyll and chlorophyll a/b ratio, electrolyte leakage, activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase, and soluble carbohydrate and soluble protein contents were monitored. Results show that rice plants have good resistance and tolerance to lower levels of PAHs stress, while adding high levels of PAHs to soils resulted in adverse effects on rice plants such as a reduction in biomass and damage to photosynthetic function. Water content and SOD activities were the most sensitive indicators of PAH stress among the observed parameters. Inoculation with PAH-degrading bacteria promoted growth and photosynthesis of rice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-118
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Damage
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading bacteria
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Resistance
  • Stress


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