Remediation of soil polluted with Pb and Cd and alleviation of oxidative stress in Brassica rapa plant using nanoscale zerovalent iron supported with coconut-husk biochar

JOURNAL OF PLANT PHYSIOLOGY(2023)

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Abstract
Accumulation of toxic elements by plants from polluted soil can induce the excessive formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), thereby causing retarded plants' physiological attributes. Several researchers have remediated soil using various forms of zerovalent iron; however, their residual impacts on oxidative stress indicators and health risks in leafy vegetables have not yet been investigated. In this research, nanoscale zerovalent iron supported with coconut-husk biochar (nZVI-CHB) was synthesized through carbothermal reduction process using Fe2O3 and coconut-husk. The stabilization effects of varying concentrations of nZVI-CHB and CHB (250 and 500 mg/kg) on cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) in soil were analyzed, and their effects on toxic metals induced oxidative stress, physiological properties, and antioxidant defence systems of the Brassica rapa plant were also checked. The results revealed that the immobilization of Pb and Cd in soil treated with CHB was low, leading to a higher accumulation of metals in plants grown. However, nZVI-CHB could significantly immobilize Pb (57.5-62.12%) and Cd (64.1-75.9%) in the soil, leading to their lower accumulation in plants below recommended safe limits and eventually reduced carcinogenic risk (CR) and hazard quotient (HQ) for both Pb and Cd in children and adults below the recommended tolerable range of <1 for HQ and 10-6 - 10-4 for CR. Also, a low dose of nZVI-CHB significantly mitigated toxic metal-induced oxidative stress in the vegetable plant by inhibiting the toxic metals uptake and increasing antioxidant enzyme activities. Thus, this study provided another insightful way of converting environmental wastes to sustainable adsorbents for soil remediation and proved that a lowdose of nZVI-CHB can effectively improve soil quality, plant physiological attributes and reduce the toxic metals exposure health risk below the tolerable range.
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Key words
Antioxidants,Brassica rapa,nZVI-supported coconut-husk biochar,Soil remediation,ROS,Health risk
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