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Effect of municipal solid waste compost and sewage sludge use on wheat (Triticum durum): growth, heavy metal accumulation, and antioxidant activity

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BACKGROUND: Inappropriate utilisation of biosolids may adversely impact agrosystem productivity. Here, we address the response of wheat (Triticum durum) to different doses (0, 40, 100, 200 and 300 t ha−1) of either municipal solid waste (MSW) compost or sewage sludge in a greenhouse pot experiment. Plant growth, heavy metal uptake, and antioxidant activity were considered.

RESULTS: Biomass production of treated plants was significantly enhanced at 40 t ha−1 and 100 t ha−1 of MSW compost (+48% and +78% relative to the control, respectively). At the same doses of sewage sludge, the increase was only 18%. Higher doses of both biosolids restricted significantly the plant growth, in concomitance with the significant accumulation of heavy metals (Ni2+, Pb2+, Cu2+ and Zn2+), especially in leaves. Leaf activities of antioxidant enzymes (ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase, catalase and superoxide dismutase) were unchanged at 40 t ha−1 MSW compost or sewage sludge, but were significantly stimulated at higher doses (200–300 t ha−1), together with higher leaf concentration of reduced glutathione.

CONCLUSION: This preliminary study suggests that a MSW supply at moderate doses (100 t ha−1) could be highly beneficial for wheat productivity. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry
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Keywords: antioxidant system; bioconcentration; biomass production; biosolids; metallic constraint; reactive oxygen species

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 30, 2010

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