Physiological Evaluation of Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) Leaves to Air Pollution for Biomonitoring of Atmospheric Quality

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Olive Tree Institute, University of Sfax, Tunisia

2 National Engineering School of Sfax, University of Sfax, Tunisia

3 Faculty of Sciences of Sfax, University of Sfax, Tunisia

4 Faculty of Pharmacy, GRESE, France


Industrialization releases significant amounts of various air pollutants such as F, Cd, Pb, particulate matter, etc., which can in turn have a deleterious effect on a variety of biochemical and physiological processes as well as the structural organization within the cells. Responses from plants species to air pollutants is varied with certain species being very sensitive to such pollutants, ending up with well visible and measurable symptoms. Morphological damage is generally visible through lesions on the aerial parts, while biochemical and physiological changes which are invisible can be measured and quantified. This study has been designed to investigate the biochemical and physiological biomarkers of apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) exposed to air pollution. It has been observed that, in comparison to unpolluted sites, lipid peroxidation level has increased in the leaves of apricot trees, grown in polluted areas, whereas photosynthetic capacity (Net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, transpiration rate, total chlorophyll, and carotenoids) along with osmotic regulator (proline and soluble sugars) levels have declined. In P. armeniaca leaves, these symptoms can be used as indicators of air pollution stress for its early diagnosis, making them a reliable marker for a particular physiological disorder.


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