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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Assessment of toxic interactions of heavy metals in a multicomponent mixture using Lepidium sativum and Spirodela polyrrhiza.

The toxicities of copper, chromium, cadmium, nickel, manganese, zinc, and lead ions and various concentrations of mixtures of them were studied using the aquatic plant Spirodela polyrrhiza and the terrestrial plant Lepidium sativum. The composition of the model mixture was based on average analytical data of the annual amounts of representative heavy metals (HM) in wastewater discharged from the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (Lithuania) during 1996. The observed and predicted effects of the HM mixture on tested plants were evaluated and compared with the prediction models used in describing the toxic interactions of heavy metals in the mixture. The type of toxic interaction at each tested concentration of the mixture was assessed by a statistical approach that tested the null hypothesis of additive toxicity (Ince et al., 1999) and the mixture toxicity index (MTI; Könemann, 1981). For both plant organisms the effect of the HM mixture calculated using the MTI was synergistic. However, assessment of the HM interaction type at 50% effect concentrations using the hypothesis of additive toxicity showed a synergistic effect for Spirodela polyrrhiza and an additive effect for Lepidium sativum. Though the results obtained using both prediction models for assessing the HM mixture's toxicity were similar, in our opinion, the additive toxicity model is more suitable than the MTI model because the former allows evaluation of the impact of various mixture concentrations, not only those with a 50% effect.[1]


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