Physiological responses of Vicia faba to copper toxicity

S. Benouis1,2*, H.A. Reguieg Yssaad1, E.H. Bouziani1, I. Khedim1

1Laboratory of Biodiversity and Conservation of Water and Soils, Faculty of Nature and Life Sciences, University of Abdelhamid Ibn Badis, Mostaganem, Algeria
2Scientific and Technical Research Center on Arid Regions (CRSTRA) Biskra, Algeria

(Manuscript received 21 July 2020; accepted for publication 26 February 2021)

*e-mail: simoslimane1985@gmail.com; slimane_benouis@yahoo.fr

Abstract. Copper plays an important role in multiple plant physiological processes including photosynthesis and protein synthesis. Excess copper in tissues leads to physiological and biochemical disturbances. In order to determine the physiological response of Vicia faba L. to copper toxicity, two varieties (Sidi Aïch and Super Aguadulce) were grown in a substrate of sand and compost (3V/V) and contaminated by different doses of Cu (0, 80, 160, 240, 320, 400 mg kg-1). Dose rates ≥160 mg kg-1 led to the accumulation of copper in roots and shoots, in turn leading to decreases in photosynthetic activity and protein content and to the accumulation of proline, a stress indicator, and soluble sugars.