Herein we report on the interactions between two common pharmaceuticals and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) plants. Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) enter wastewater treatment plants from industrial and household sewers. These chemicals are not completely removed during wastewater processing, and in many countries, are being found in drinking water sources and in surface waters downstream of wastewater treatment plants. If treated wastewater effluent is re-used to irrigate crops, the potential adverse interactions between PPCPs and plants needs to be understood. β-estradiol and gemfibrozil appeared to affect wheat seedlings through oxidative stress, as indicated by increases in lipid peroxidation, hydrogen peroxide, carotenoid, and antioxidant enzyme activities. Additionally, plant cell damage in wheat seedlings was indicated by an increase in electrolyte leakage. Although our study was not designed to elucidate possible mechanisms, the changes in activity of plant enzymes in response to some pharmaceuticals is likely the consequence of oxidative stress and the initiation of pathways to protect the plant from further cell damage.
- Plant enzymes
- Triticum aestivum L