To explore the wheat seedling development and physiological responses
under copper contamination and enhanced
ultraviolet-B (UV-B) irradiation, 10 mg·L-1 CuCl2 solution was
irrigated to Triticum aestivum L. cv.
Linyuan 2069 one day after germination with or without ultraviolet-B (10.08 kJ m-2·d-1)
light exposure, respectively. The results showed that Cu2+ and UV-B
caused various adverse effects on wheat seedling development. Cu2+ hindered root development by significantly reducing root number, while UV-B
dwarfed seedling height and decreased the leaf length. Chlorophyll content and
activity of ATPase in thylakoid membrane of wheat leaves dropped significantly
under enhanced UV-B while the activity of ATPase in plasma membrane of seedling
root was significantly decreased in Cu2+ group. Relative electric
conductivity of leaves significantly increased in both Cu2+ and UV-B
groups, so did the biomass. We also observed that combined Cu2+ and
UV-B showed more adverse effects on wheat seedlings than either of them alone
except for root growth.