Preliminary study of Lead (Pb) immobilization by meat and bone meal combustion residues (MBMCR) in soil: Assessment of Pb toxicity (phytotoxicity and genotoxicity) using the tobacco model (Nicotiana tabacum var. xanthi Dulieu)

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Lead (Pb) is a major chemical pollutant in the environment. The present investigation evaluates the possible use of Meat and Bone Meal Combustion Residues (MBMCR), to sequester Pb from the soil compartment using the heterozygous tobacco model (Nicotiana tabacum var. xanthi Dulieu) characterized by the a1+/a1a2+/a2 system. The toxic potential of Pb-contaminations (50, 100, 1,000, 2,000 and 10,000 mg Pb kg−1) as Pb(NO3) in standard soil was investigated in lab conditions according to three endpoints: (i) acute toxicity of plants (mortality, height and surface area parameters), (ii) Pb-accumulation in roots, stems and leaves, and (iii) genetic effects as the expression of reversion in the leaf of plants. Moreover, chemical investigations of Pb interactions with soil were realized to complete the toxicity evaluation. The results demonstrated that: (i) MBMCR were not acutely toxic or genotoxic to tobacco plants, (ii) Pb is acutely toxic to tobacco plants at 10,000 mg Pb kg−1 of soil, (ii) but is not genotoxic, and (iii) Pb-bioaccumulation is significant in leaves, stems and roots (from 1,000, 2,000, and 50 mg Pb kg−1 of soil, respectively). In contrast, in the presence of MBMCR, the toxic impacts of Pb were inhibited and Pb-accumulation in tobacco plants was reduced. In complement, chemical analyses highlighted the high capacity of the standard soil to immobilize Pb. The results suggest that even if Pb is bioavailable from soils to plants, complex mechanisms could occur in plants protecting them from the toxic impact of Pb.

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