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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1423828, 8 pages
Research Article

Biochemical and Metabolic Changes in Arsenic Contaminated Boehmeria nivea L.

1Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Metallurgy and Environment, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410083, China
2National Engineering Research Center for Control and Treatment of Heavy Metal Pollution, Changsha 410083, China
3Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
4Department of Chemistry, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
5College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei 430070, China
6Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), Vehari, Pakistan
7The UWA Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA 6009, Australia

Received 19 November 2015; Revised 5 February 2016; Accepted 8 February 2016

Academic Editor: Hongbing Liu

Copyright © 2016 Hussani Mubarak 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.


Arsenic (As) is identified by the EPA as the third highest toxic inorganic contaminant. Almost every 9th or 10th human in more than 70 countries including mainland China is affected by As. Arsenic along with other toxins not only affects human life but also creates alarming situations such as the deterioration of farm lands and desertion of industrial/mining lands. Researchers and administrators have agreed to opt for phytoremediation of As over costly cleanups. Boehmeria nivea L. can soak up various heavy metals, such as Sb, Cd, Pb, and Zn. But the effect of As pollution on the biology and metabolism of B. nivea has been somewhat overlooked. This study attempts to evaluate the extent of As resistance, chlorophyll content, and metabolic changes in As-polluted (5, 10, 15, and 20 mg L−1 As) B. nivea in hydroponics. Toxic effects of As in the form of inhibited growth were apparent at the highest level of added As. The significant changes in the chlorophyll, electrolyte leakage, and H2O2, significant increases in As in plant parts, catalase (CAT), and malondialdehyde (MDA), with applied As revealed the potential of B. nivea for As decontamination. By employing the metabolic machinery of B. nivea, As was sustainably removed from the contaminated areas.