African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6848


Morphological, physiological and biochemical responses of plants to nickel stress: A review

Muhammad Bilal Hussain1, Shafaqat Ali2*, Aqeel Azam1, Saadia Hina2, Muhammad Ahsan Farooq2, Basharat Ali3, Saima Aslam Bharwana2 and Muhammad Bilal Gill4
1Department of Geography, Government College University, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan. 2Department of Environmental Sciences, Government College University, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan. 3Institute of Crop Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China. 4Institute of Soil Science and Environment, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 April 2013
  •  Published: 09 May 2013


Nickel (Ni), is the 22nd abundant element in the earth crust, being an essential mineral nutrient found in natural soils in trace concentrations. The elevated levels of Ni pollution in the environment are due to industrial and agricultural activities. It is vitally important to understand both, the functional characteristics and toxic effects of Ni in plants. The quantity of Ni required for normal growth and development of plants is very low. However, Ni has been identified as a component of various enzymes in plants and has decisive metabolism for certain enzyme activities, like maintaining proper cellular redox state and various other biochemical, physiological and growth responses. The higher concentration of Ni is associated with serpentine soils, manifestation in plant chlorosis and inhibits root and shoot growth. Excess of Ni inhibits a large number of enzymes and interferes with several aspects of plant biochemistry, including photosynthesis, pigment synthesis, and membrane integrity. This article is based on the overview of available data of past two decades that in core, itencompasses the ill morphological, physiological and biochemical effects of Ni stress on plants.


Key words: Nickel stress, growth, yield, antioxidative system, gas exchange, photosynthetic pigments.