Impact of particulate matter on primary leaves of Vigna radiata (L.) R. Wilczek

Nisha Shabnam, Joosung Oh, Sangwon Park, Hyunook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Particulate matter (PM) pollution is of great concern for human health and vegetation. In this study, we investigated the impact of PM on primary (unifoliate) leaves of Vigna radiata (L.) R.Wilczek by exposing leaves’ adaxial surface to PM. Leaves exposed to PM showed accumulation of various metal(loid)s even after removal of epicuticular wax (EW) revealing that the metals/metalloids could penetrate through the cuticular barrier. Scanning electron microscopic studies revealed that even after thorough washing with water, a significant amount (~55%) of particles were retained on the leaf surface. Leaves did not show any particles on their surface post EW removal, revealing that particles adhered to EW. Exposing primary leaves to PM did not alter their size but gave rise to smaller sized trifoliate leaves. A decline in Chl a/b of PM-exposed primary leaves suggested that PM cause a shading effect on leaves. PM-exposed primary leaves also showed a decline in sugar levels. However, the trifoliate leaves did not show any variation in Chl a/b as well as sugar levels. Our findings furnish evidence for the negative effects of PM on plants and a probable dietary exposure of humans to PMs, warranting more in-depth studies on the potential risks of PMs in agricultural sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111965
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Chlorophyll
  • Epicuticular wax
  • Particulate matter
  • SEM
  • Vigna radiata


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