African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12236

Full Length Research Paper

Antioxidant enzymes as bio-markers for copper tolerance in safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.)

Ali Ahmed1, Ammarah Hasnain1, Saeed Akhtar2, Asma Hussain1, Abaid-ullah4, Ghulam Yasin1, Abdul Wahid1 and Seema Mahmood1,3*
1Institute of Pure and Applied Biology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, 60800, Pakistan 2Department of Food Science and Technology, University College of Agriculture, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan. 3Visiting Professor, Division of Environment and Evolutionary Biology, University of Glasgow, Scotland, U.K G12 8QQ. 4Department of Biosciences, Comsat Institute of Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 July 2010
  •  Published: 31 August 2010


Activities of antioxidants enzymes were investigated in order to evaluate protective mechanism of plants against oxidative stress induced by high concentration of copper. Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) plants were exposed to 100 µM copper (Cu) for two weeks under controlled environmental conditions using hydroponic culture. Cu induced changes in chlorophyll and carotenoids pigments. More Cu accumulated in the roots as compared with the leaves. Level of lipid peroxidation and antioxidative enzyme activities (peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase) also correlated with the Cu content of the plant tissues. However, restricted transfer of the metal to the foliage and enhanced activity of peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase may be of great significance for scavenging oxidative stress caused by excessive copper in safflower plants. Thus, these antioxidant enzymes served as good predictors for the evaluation of heavy metal tolerance.


Key words: Carthamus tinctorius, copper stress, oxidative damage, antioxidant defense.


ROS, Reactive oxygen species; MDA, malondialdehyde; SOD,superoxide dismutase; POD, peroxidise; CAT, catalase; TBA, thiobarbituric acid;NBT, nitro-blue tetrazolium.