Effects of benzoic acid and cadmium toxicity on wheat seedlings
Benzoic acid (BA) and Cd exhibit cumulative effects on plants due to their accumulation in the soil. The present study reports the effects of BA an allelochemical, Cd and their combinations on seed germination, seedling growth, biochemical parameters, and response of antioxidant enzymes in Triticum aestivum L. The experiment was conducted in sand supplemented with Hoagland nutrient solution. Benzoic acid was applied at concentrations of 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 mM with or without Cd (7 mg L-1) to observe effects of allelochemical and Cd alone and in combination on wheat. Both stresses exhibited inhibitory effect on growth and metabolism of wheat seedlings. The allelochemical in single and combined treatments with Cd decreased seedling growth as compared to Cd stress. The two stresses significantly enhanced malondialdehyde content of wheat seedlings. The activity of other antioxidant enzymes, viz. superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and guaiacol peroxidase (POX) were also recorded. SOD increased in seedlings under the two stresses. CAT more prominently ameliorates the toxic effects of H2O2 as compared with APX and POX and protected wheat seedlings from oxidative stress. Allelochemical buttressed the toxic effect of Cd on wheat seedlings.