Salinity is a major worldwide problem that affects agricultural soils and limits the reclamation of contaminated sites. Despite the large number of research papers published about salt tolerance in Brassica juncea L., there are very few accounts concerning the influence of salinity on the uptake of trace metals. In this study, B. juncea plants divided through soil sets comprising 0, 900 and 1800 mg Zn kg-1, were treated with solutions containing 0, 60 and 120 mmol L-1 of NaCl, with the purpose of observing the effect of salt on Zn uptake, and some physiological responses throughout the 90 days experiment. Increasing concentrations of NaCl and Zn produced a decline in the ecophysiological and biochemical properties of the plants, with observable synergistic effects on parameters like shoot dry weight, leaf area, or photochemical efficiency. Nevertheless, plants treated with 60 mmol L-1 of NaCl accumulated striking harvestable amounts of Zn per plant that largely exceed those reported for Thlaspi caerulescens. It was concluded that salinity could play an important role on the uptake of Zn by B. juncea. The potential mechanisms behind these results are discussed, as well as the implications for phytoremediation of Zn on saline and non-saline soils.
- Brassica juncea
- trace metals