Cadmium toxicity in African yam bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa (HOCHST. EX A.RICH.) HARMS genotypes

Pascal Chukwuebuka OKOYE, Geoffery Obinna ANOLIEFO, Beckley IKHAJIAGBE, Edokpolor Osaze OHANMU, Francis Aibuedefe IGIEBOR, Ephraim ALIU


The aim of the study was to investigate the growth responses of African yam bean (Sphenostylis sternocarpa (Hochst. ex A. Rich.) Harms (AYB) to cadmium pollution. Top garden soil (0 – 10 cm) was obtained as pooled and polluted with cadmium (as CdCl2) at the rate of 12 mg kg-1, which is equivalent to 3 times the ecotoxicological screening value of Cd. The polluted soils were made ready for use 3 days later. Nine selected AYB accessions (TSs-87, TSs-89, TSs-90, TSs-91, TSs-92, TSs-93, TSs-94, TSs-95, and TSs-96) were pre-soaked for 30 minutes and then sown in the polluted and unpolluted soils. Data collected were subjected to ANOVA, and means were separated at 95 % confidence interval. Results showed that incidence of cadmium pollution significantly delayed seedling emergence in all tested AYB accessions by at least one day (p < 0.05). Despite exposure to Cd, TSs-96 attained 50 % emergence faster than other accessions. Although there were general reductions in yield due to exposure to Cd, TSs-92 showed the least percentage yield reduction (50 %), compared to 74 % yield reduction in TSs-93, thereby suggesting a comparatively better yield capacity compared to the other test accessions. Overall, decrease in total chlorophyll content seems to be the major reason of injury in Cd-exposed plants.


toxicity; heavy metal; Sphenostylis stenocarpa; cadmium; yield

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