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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 276417, 6 pages
Research Article

Influence of Heavy Metal Stress on Antioxidant Status and DNA Damage in Urtica dioica

1Faculty of Medical Sciences, Goce Delčev University, Krste Misirkov Street bb, P.O. Box 201, 2000 Štip, Macedonia
2Faculty of Pharmacy, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia
3Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia

Received 2 April 2013; Accepted 20 May 2013

Academic Editor: Brad Upham

Copyright © 2013 Darinka Gjorgieva et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Heavy metals have the potential to interact and induce several stress responses in the plants; thus, effects of heavy metal stress on DNA damages and total antioxidants level in Urtica dioica leaves and stems were investigated. The samples are sampled from areas with different metal exposition. Metal content was analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES), for total antioxidants level assessment the Ferric-Reducing Antioxidant Power (FRAP) assay was used, and genomic DNA isolation from frozen plant samples was performed to obtain DNA fingerprints of investigated plant. It was found that heavy metal contents in stems generally changed synchronously with those in leaves of the plant, and extraneous metals led to imbalance of mineral nutrient elements. DNA damages were investigated by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique, and the results demonstrated that the samples exposed to metals yielded a large number of new fragments (total 12) in comparison with the control sample. This study showed that DNA stability is highly affected by metal pollution which was identified by RAPD markers. Results suggested that heavy metal stress influences antioxidant status and also induces DNA damages in U. dioica which may help to understand the mechanisms of metals genotoxicity.