Turkish Journal of Botany




This work was aimed to explore the efficacy of activated charcoal (5 mg g-1 soil) in abating fluoride (25 mg L-1 NaF) stress in rice seedlings, since the protective role of charcoal is widely reported against other forms of abiotic stress. Application of NaF solution reduced germination rate, dry and fresh weight, and shoot and root length of seedlings. Extensive fluoride accumulation lowered the chlorophyll level along with higher electrolyte leakage and formation of H2 O2 , malondialdehyde, and methylglyoxal. Administration of activated charcoal lowered the extent of oxidative damages by inhibiting the uptake of fluoride ions. Exogenous application of activated charcoal also restored the activity of Kreb's cycle enzymes, i.e. PDH, IDH, MDH, and SDH, thereby overcoming the burden of carbon utilization and energy depletion occurring during stress. Additionally, the osmolyte (soluble sugar, proline, glycine-betaine, and amino acid) level was further escalated in presence of activated charcoal. The inhibition in catalase activity in fluoride-stressed seedlings was also restored. The activity of a range of enzymatic antioxidants (guaiacol peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and ascorbate peroxidase) along with the glyoxalase system associated-enzymes (glyoxalase I and II) was further triggered in stressed seedlings treated with activated charcoal. The enhanced level of carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and total phenolics also enabled efficient scavenging of reactive oxygen species, thereby reducing cellular necrosis in the leaves. Based on the current investigation, it can be concluded that activated charcoal application appears a promising strategy to improve growth and mitigate damages in rice plants, growing in fluoride-polluted soil.


Activated charcoal, fluoride-induced damage, osmolytes, Kreb's cycle, antioxidants, rice

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