Zinc

Zinc (Zn) is an essential micronutrient that has a role in several metabolic processes of plants. Zinc deficiency inhibits plant growth and development. However, an excess of zinc results in a decrease in growth, development, and metabolism, as well as an oxidative damage in various plant species. In many plants, excess Zn generates ROS and displaces other metals from active sites in proteins. Chronic exposure to Zn in the aquatic plant Lemna minor L. resulted in elevated levels of lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and enhanced DNA damage (Balen et al. 2011). In Viciafaba roots, Zn also induced a genotoxic effect measured as significant micronucleus induction (Marcato-Romain et al. 2009). Several enzymes contain Zn, such as carbonic anhydrase, alcohol dehydrogenase, SOD, and RNA polymerase. Zinc is required to maintain the integrity of ribosome. It takes part in the formation of carbohydrates and catalyzes oxidation processes in plants. Zinc also provides a structural role in many transcription factors (Nagajyoti et al. 2010).

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