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Evaluation of possible toxicological effects of heavy metal chromium on wheat in soil irrigated with industrial, municipal and ground water: public health implications

Kafeel Ahmad, Abid Ejaz, Asma Ashfaq, Javed Shoukat, Abrar Hussain, Shahzadi Mahpara, Hafsa Memona, Allah Bakhsh Gulshan, Tasneem Ahmad Naunain Mehmood, Muhammad Ajmal Ali and Muhammad S. Elshikh

Increased area under organic cultivation is being driven by an improvement in nutritional quality and safety, as well as environmental concerns. Chromium (Cr) is a persistent contaminant that harms all living things including plants. Various manufacturing industries pollute the environment with an excessive quantity of Cr. This study was planned to conduct a practical evaluation of Cr toxicity in our food chain. The research was conducted in city Sargodha, Pakistan which pointed out experimental performance of this heavy metal transfer from nine different sources of fertilizer concentrations (100 g & 200 g) applied on ten wheat varieties under cultivation. The research also highlighted a comparison of pot and field sites under same influencing factors to make it precisely hypothetical. The analysis of soil amended with poultry waste (200 g) showed the maximum (0.439 mg/Kg) concentration of Cr, whereas least value (0.11 mg/Kg) was observed in soil in controlled site. The highest Cr uptake in roots (7.9 mg/Kg) was observed in wheat cultivar MILLAT-11 and the lowest in IHSAN-16 (5.5 mg/Kg) with municipal solid waste application of 200 g (9.14 mg/Kg) as highest and control factor (3.16 mg/Kg) as the lowest one. The highest uptake in shoots was observed in 11CO23 (7.75 mg/Kg) and lowest in JOHAR-16 (5.41 mg/Kg) with press mud (200 g) (9.03 mg/Kg) as highest and poultry waste (100g) (4.65 mg/Kg) as the lowest. The highest uptake in grains was observed in MILLAT-11 (7.70 mg/Kg) and the lowest in DHARABI-11 (5.47 mg /Kg) with farm yard manure (200g) (9.08 mg /Kg) as highest and controlled factor (3.74 mg/Kg) as the least one. In pot and field sites, all indices were below the critical range but exceptional in bio-concentration factor where dose concentration was increased. It was concluded that Cr uptake in wheat increases with application of waste in soil but varies depending on plant genetics. Genetics also seems to be in action as absorption capacity in some varieties varies considerably and clearly draws an attention about the need of further studies on genetic basis. However, an effort was made to reveal certain unknown aspects of phytoremediation and metal toxic absorption in our staple food crops that require ongoing research to maintain safety levels of chromium in an ecosystem

To Cite this article: Ahmad, K., A. Ejaz, A. Ashfaq, J. Shoukat, A. Hussain, S. Mahpara, H. Memona, A.B. Gulshan, T.A.N. Mehmood, M. A. Ali and M.S. Elshikh. 2023. Evaluation of possible toxicological effects of heavy metal chromium on wheat in soil irrigated with industrial, municipal and ground water: public health implications. Pak. J. Bot., 55(6): DOI:  

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