Copper

Copper (Cu) is an essential micronutrient and a component of several enzymatic systems, participating primarily in electron flow and catalysis of redox reactions, but excess Cu is toxic to organisms (Schutzendubel and Polle 2002). At high concentrations, Cu is involved in the formation of OH~ from H2O2 via Haber-Weiss and Fenton reactions, and it initiates nonspecific lipid peroxidation.

Haber-Weiss reaction

Metal oxidized

Metal reduced

Fenton reaction

Metal reduced

Metal oxidized

Cumulative results in Haber-Weiss/Fenton reaction

The genotoxic effects of increased amounts of Cu in plants have been observed. In Vicia faba and Pisum sativum,, Cu induces chromosomal alterations and increases micronucleus induction at low concentrations (Marcato-Romain et al. 2009). Additionally, various concentrations of Cu(II) were shown to induce changes in the genome template stability of Solanum melongena L. using random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analyses (Korpe and Aras 2011).

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