The Effects of Lead and Cadmium Individually and in Combinations on Germination and Seedling Growth of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit

Muhammad Kabir, Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Muhammad Shafiq, Zia-ur-Rehman Farooqi


Pollution by heavy metals in the environment is a worldwide problem due to anthropogenic, industrial and automobile activities. In present studies, the effects of selected heavy metals (Pb and Cd) individually and in combination on seed germination and seedling growth of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit. were investigated. Germination rate of L. leucocephala showed that increase in concentration of metal treatment from 25 to 100 ppm, significantly (p<0.05) reduced germination percentage which was more prominent for Pb treatments as compared to control. Seedling growth variables i.e. root and shoot length, seedling size, root/shoot ratio, seedling fresh and dry weights also declined significantly (p<0.05) as compared to control treatment. Seedlings growth of L. leucocephala gradually reduced with increased in concentrations of metals especially Pb and Cd as compared to control. The inhibitory effects of metals showed the order as Pb>Cd of effects at different concentrations. The combined metal treatments of Pb+Cd were also found more toxic as compared to individual’s treatment. The seedlins of L. leucocephala were tested for tolerance to lead and cadmium. Tolerance indices and seedling vigor index of L. leucocephala for individuals and combined metal treatment also decreased with increase in concentration of Pb and Cd treatment as compared to control. The more reduction in seedling tolerance indices of L. leucocephala was recorded for combined metal treatment. This reduction was prominent for Pb+Cd at 100 ppm as compared to control treatments.


Heavy metals; phytoxicity; seed germination; seedling growth; tolerance index.

Full Text:



Stobrawa, K., & G. Lorenc-Plucinska. 2008. Thresholds of heavy-metal toxicity in cuttings of European black poplar (Populus nigra L.) determined according to antioxidant status of fine roots and morphometrical disorders. Sci. of The Total Environ. 390(1): 86-96.

Xiong, Z.T. 1998. Lead uptake and effects on seed ger¬mination and plant growth in a Pb hyperaccumula¬ tor Brassica pekinensis Rupr. Bull. of Environ. Cont. and Toxiol, 60: 285–291.

MacFarlane, G.R., & M.D. Burchett. 2002. Toxicity, growth and accumulation relationships of copper lead and zinc in the grey mangrove Avicennia marina (Forsk.) Vierh. Mar. Environ. Res., 54: 65–84.

Yadev, S.K. 2010. Heavy metals toxicity in plants: An overview on the role of glutathione and phytochelatins in heavy metal stress tolerance of plants. Afr. J. Bot, 76(2): 167-179.

Kumar, S., M.H Asif., D. Chakrabarty, R.D. Tripathi., R.S. Dubey & P.K. Trivedi. 2013. Expression of a rice Lambda class of glutathione S-transferase,OsGSTL2, in Arabidopsis provides tolerance to heavy metal and other abiotic stresses. J. of Hazardous Materials, 248-249, 228-237.

Bolan, N., A. Kunhikrshnan., R. Thangarajan., J. Kumpiene., T. Makino., M.B. Krikham & K. Scheckel. 2014. Remediation of heavy metal (loid)s contaminated soils – To mobilize or to immobilize?. J. of Hazardous Materials, 266: 141-166.

Toplan, S., D. Ozcelik., T. Gulyasar & M.C. Akyolcu. 2004. Changes in hemorheological parameters due to lead exposure in female rats. J. of Trace Elements in Medicine and Bio, 18 (2): 179 - 182.

Majer, B.J., D. Tscherko & A. Paschke. 2002. Effects of heavy metal contamination of soils on micronucleus induction in Tradescantia and on microbial enzyme activities: a comparative investigation. Mutation Res., 515: 111-124.

Sandalio, L.M., H.C. Dalurzo., M. Gomez, M.C. Romero-Puertas & L.A. Rio. 2001. Cadmium induced changes in the growth and oxidative metabolism of pea plants. J. of Expt. Bot., 52: 2115–2126.

Sousa, N.R., M.A. Ramos., A.P.G.C. Marquest & P.M. L. Castro. 2012. The effect of ectomycorrhizal fungi forming symbiosis with Pinus pinaster seedlings exposed to cadmium. Sci. of The Total Environ. 414: 63-67.

Ara, F, M.Z. Iqbal. & M.S. Qureshi. 1996. Determination of heavy metals contamination of trees and soils due to vehicular emission in Karachi city. Kar. Uni. J. of Sci. 24: 80 - 84.

Khalid, F., M.Z. Iqbal & M.Z. Qureshi. 1996. Concentration of heavy metals determined in leaves and soil from various areas of Karachi, city. Environ. Sci, 4: 213-219.

Iqbal, M.Z., A.K. Sherwani & M. Shafiq. 1998. Vegetation characteristics and trace metals (Cu, Zn and Pb) in soils along the super highways near Karachi, Pakistan. Studia Bot. Hungarica, 29: 79-86.

Brewbaker, J.L., D.I. Plucknett and V. Gonzales (1972). Varietal trials of Leucaena leucocephla (“Koahaole”) in Hawaii. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, College of Agriculture, Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station, 26-29.

Annonymous, 1984. Leucaena: Promising forage and tree crop for the tropics, 2nd ed. National Academy Press Washington D.C. 1-100.

Brewbaker, J.L., N. Hegde., E.M. Hutton., R.J. Jones., J.B. Lowry., F. Moog. & R.V. Beldt. 1985. Leucaena - Forage Production and Use. NFTA, Hawaii. 39 pp.

Swasdiphanich, S. 1992. Environmental influences on forage yields of shrub legumes. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Queensland.

Jim, C.Y. 1998. Pressure on urban trees in Hong Kong: Pervasive problem and possible amelioration. Arbor. J., 22: 37-60.

Shafiq, M. & M.Z. , Iqbal. 2005. The toxicity effects of heavy metals on germination and seedling growth of Cassia siamea Lamark. J. of New Seeds, 7: 95-105.

Shafiq, M. & M.Z. Iqbal. 2012. "Impact of Automobile Pollutants on Plants". ISBN 978-3-8443-8504-5. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8, 66121, Saarbrücken, Germany. 132 pp.

Bewly, J.D. & B.M. Black. 1982. Germination of seeds. In: Physiology and biochemistry of seed germination. Ed: A.A. Khan, Springer Verlag, NewYork, pp. 40-80.

Prodgers, R.A. & W.P. Inskeep. 1981. Heavy metals tolerance of inland salt grass Distichlis spicata. Great Basin Naturalist, 51: 271-278.

Hu, R., K. Sun., X. Pan., Y. Zhang & X. Wang. 2012. Physiological responses and tolerance mechanisms to Pb in two xerophils: Salsola passerina Bunge and Chenopodium album L. J of Hazardous Materials, 205-206: 131-138.

Ismail, S., F. Khan & M.Z. Iqbal. 2013. Phytoremediation: Assessing tolerance of tree species against heavy metals (PB and CD) toxicity. Pak. J. Bot., 45 (6): 2181-2186.

Gupta, S., Meena, M.K. & Datta, S. 2016. Effect of selected heavy metals (Lead and Zinc) on seedling growth of soybean Glycine max (L.) Merr. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, 8(8): 302-305.

Kim, Y., H.S. Lee & S.S. Kwak. 2010. Differential responses of sweet potato peroxidases to heavy metals. Chemosphere, 81(1): 79-85.

Agoramoorthy, G, F., Chen & M.J.Hsu. 2008. Threat of heavy metal pollution in halophytic and mangrove plants of Tamil Nadu, India. Environ. Pollut., 155 (2): 320-326.

Molnárová, M & A. Fargašová. 2012. Relationship between various physiological and biochemical parameters activated by cadmium &in Sinapis alba L. and Hordeum vulgare L. Ecological Eng., 49: 65-72.

Prodgers, R.A. & W.P. Inskeep. 1991. Heavy metal tolerance of inland salt grass (Distichlis spicata). Great Basin Naturalist, 5(3): 271-278.

Yuan, Z., S. Xiong., C. Li & X. Ma. 2011. Effects of chronic stress of cadmium and lead on anatomical structure of tobacco roots. Agricultural Sci. in China, 10 (12): 1941-1948.

Smeets, K., K. Opdenakker., T. Remans., S.V. Sanden., F.V. Belleghem., B. Semane., B. Horeman., Y. Guisez., J. Vangronsveld & A. Cuypers. 2009. Oxidative stress-related responses at transcriptional and enzymatic levels after exposure to Cd or Cu in a multipollution context. J of Plant Physio, 166(18): 1982-1992.

Israr, M., A. Jewell., D. Kumar & S.V. Sahi. 2011. Interactive effects of lead, copper, nickel and zinc on growth, metal uptake and antioxidative metabolism of Sesbania drummondii. J. of Hazardous Materials, 186(2-3), 1520-1526.

[Ren, S. 2003. Phenol mechanism of toxic action classification and prediction: a decision tree approach. Toxicol. Lett., 144 (3): 313 – 323.

Naz, A. , Khan, S. , Qasim, M. , Khalid, S. , Muhammad, S. & Tariq, M. 2013. Metals toxicity and its bioaccumulation in purslane seedlings grown in controlled environment. Natural Science, 5: 573-579.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments




About ASRJETS | Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions | Contact Us | DisclaimerFAQs 

ASRJETS is published by (GSSRR).