Treatment of young spruce shoots with SO2 and H2S: Effects on fine root chromosomes in relation to changes in the thiol content and redox state

A Wonisch*, M Tausz, M Muller, W Weidner, LJ De Kok, D Grill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Three year old spruce trees (Picea omorika) were exposed to 100 and 225 nl l(-1) SO2 and H2S for three weeks. The number of chromosomal aberrations and the mitotic index in the root tip meristems, and glutathione and cysteine contents in fine roots were determined twice weekly. An increase in glutathione content in fine roots of H2S exposed plants was only detectable after 13 days of fumigation. The number of chromosomal aberrations increased significantly after 9 days of exposure to 225 nl l(-1) H2S and after 13 days of exposure to 225 nl l(-1) SO2 or 100 nl l(-1) H2S. This increase in chromosomal damage persisted up to the end of the 3 week treatment. Neither SO2 nor H2S exposure affected the cysteine content or the redox state of glutathione in fine roots. These results suggest that the development of chromosomal aberrations during SO2 and H2S exposures does not directly reflect changes in thiol/glutathione content or redox state in the fine roots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-428
Number of pages6
JournalWater Air and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Nov-1999
Event18th IUFRO Workshop on Air Pollution Stress, Forest Responses to the Pollution Climate of the 21st Century -
Duration: 21-Sep-199823-Sep-1998


  • sulfur
  • redox status
  • thiol
  • chromosome
  • glutathione
  • Picea omorika

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