Pesticide-Induced Physiological, Metabolic and Ultramorphological Alterations in Leaves of Young Maize Seedlings
Mei Lei 1  
,   Irum Raza 2  
,   Farah Deeba 2  
,   Muhammad Jamil 2  
,   Rehan Naeem 2  
,   Azizullah Azizullah 3  
,   Baharullah Khattak 4  
,   Azizullah Shah 5  
,   Imran Ali 2,   Zhu Shui Jin 1  
,   Muhammad Daud Khan 1, 2  
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Institute of Crop Science, Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zijingang Campus, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, P.R. China
Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Pakistan
Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Pakistan
Department of Microbiology, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Pakistan
Natural Resource Division, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Islamabad, Pakistan
Muhammad Daud Khan   

Biotechnology and GE, KUST,Pakistan, iotechnology and GE, KUST,Pakistan, 26000, Kohat, Pakistan
Submission date: 2019-02-07
Final revision date: 2019-04-12
Acceptance date: 2019-04-24
Online publication date: 2020-02-13
Publication date: 2020-03-31
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2020;29(3):2247–2258
Pesticides are usually used to eliminate weeds and insects to improve crop quality and yield. The present study was undertaken to explore pesticides (Lambda cyhalotherin (LC) and Emamectin benzoate (EB)) related physiological, biochemical and ultrastructural changes in leaves of maize seedlings at different concentrations of LC and EB both singly (LC100, LC500, LC800, EB100, EB300, EB600 mg/L) and jointly (LC500 + EB300 mg/L) along with control. Germination percentage, root stem and leaf lengths increased at lower concentrations of both pesticides and significantly decreased with the increase in the external application of pesticides. At higher concentrations of LC and EB (i.e., LC800 and EB600 mg/L) the mean values of growth and biomass of maize leaves were lower than control. Also, decreases in photosynthetic pigments and ion concentration of Na1+, Ca2+ and K1+ were significant when the concentration of both pesticides increased. The melondialdehyde (MDA) contents decreased, while the amount of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production increased at higher doses in cases of single and joint applications. With the increase in their concentrations, the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) were found to be pronouncedly enhanced as compared to control. Ultrastructural alterations in mesophyll cells of maize leaf were mostly found in chloroplast and nucleus. The present study revealed that short-term exposure of maize seedlings to pesticides (LC and EB) caused less stressful effects on maize due to the presence of active antioxidative metabolism, which indicates the resistant nature of maize toward these pesticides.