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Screening Capsicum chinense fruits for heavy metals bioaccumulation

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Elevated concentrations of heavy metals in edible plants could expose consumers to excessive levels of potentially hazardous chemicals. Sixty-three accessions (genotypes) of Capsicum chinense Jacq, collected from 8 countries of origin were grown in a silty-loam soil under field conditions. At maturity, fruits were collected and analyzed for seven heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Ni, Pb, Zn, Cu, and Mo) concentrations. The main objectives of this investigation were: 1) to determine the concentrations of seven heavy metals in the soil and monitor their accumulation in mature fruits, 2) to categorize the pepper accessions as low or high heavy metal accumulators, and 3) to determine if heavy metal content of the pepper fruit was lower than the permitted limits. Concentrations and relative proportions of heavy metals in pepper fruits of C. chinense varied among accessions. Fruits of Plant Introduction (PI) 355820 accumulated significant concentrations of Cd (0.47 μg g-1dry fruit). PI-260522 accumulated the highest concentration of Pb (2.12 μg g-1 dry fruit) among the 63 accessions tested. This accession (PI-260522) contained about twice the Pb limit on a fresh weight basis. Among the 63 accessions analyzed, PI-238051 contained the highest levels of Ni (17.2 μg g-1). We concluded that high accumulator genotypes may be useful for phytoremediation, while, low accumulator accessions might be appropriate selections for growing on Cd-, Pb-, or Ni-contaminated soils to prevent potential human exposure to heavy metals and health hazards through the food chain.
Antonious, George F. , Snyder, John C. , Berke, Terry , Jarret, Robert L.
Capsicum chinense , hot peppers , germplasm , plant genetic resources , genotype , bioaccumulation , heavy metals , lead , cadmium , nickel , fruits (plant anatomy) , phytoremediation , soil pollution , polluted soils , food contamination
p. 562-571.
Includes references
Journal of environmental science and health. Part B: Pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes 2010 Aug-Sept, v. 45, no. 6
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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