Isatis cappadocica Desv. is a newly found As-hyperaccumulator showing very high remediation efficiency in polluted soils. We studied the effects of arsenic at 0-1400 μM concentrations on seed germination, relative root length, relative shoot height, and root and shoot biomass in young seedlings of I. cappadocica. The seeds were from Iranian arsenic-contaminated mine spoils and from a non-contaminated population. The control for reference was brassica (Descurenia sofia). Germination decreased significantly versus the control with increasing arsenic concentrations. The response to arsenic exposure differed between the I. cappadocica populations and D. sofia. I. cappadocica from mine spoil seeds showed strong resistance to the highest As concentration, with no adverse effects until the 1000 μM dose. Germination from non-mine seeds of I. cappadocica decreased to 89.6% at 1400 μM As. D. sofia germination was completely inhibited at 400 μM As. Relative root length (RRL) and relative shoot height (RSH) decreased with increasing As concentration. Overall, RRL correlated with RSH. Shoot height and root length were more sensitive to arsenic than other endpoints, and might be used as arsenic toxicity indicators. I. cappadocica showed more As tolerance than the reference brassica.
We examined the response of plants of various crop and weed species to cyanamide in order to evaluate allelochemical- mediated interactions between the species. We studied germination and seedling growth in the common weeds Galium aparine L. and Amaranthus retroflexus L., and the crops Zea mays L., Triticum aestivum L., Lactuca sativa L., Solanum lycopersicum L. and Sinapis alba L. as acceptor plants. Concentration-dependent phytotoxic effects of cyanamide were noted during seed germination and in the root and shoot growth of the tested plants. The monocotyledonous plants generally were less sensitive to cyanamide treatment. Seed germination and seedling growth of the dicotyledonous plants were strongly inhibited by the allelochemical at both tested concentrations (1.2 mM, 3 mM). We conclude that cyanamide has potential for use as a natural herbicide only in specific field systems of cyanamide-tolerant monocotyledonous crops accompanied by cyanamide-sensitive dicotyledonous weeds.