Normal oxygen metabolism is an endogenous source of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The source of ROS are also many environmental factors including heavy metals. In certain concentration range, the presence of ROS is necessary to maintain proper cell function. Thus, cells have many mechanisms, which role is focused on maintaining a constant concentration of ROS. Imbalance between the formation of ROS and action of a protective antioxidant system leads to oxidative stress. This may results with a damage to the structure of proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, which in turn can lead to disturbances in the functioning of the cell and even to the death. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of copper ions on the metabolic activity of garden cress Lepidium sativum L. The action of copper ions with different concentrations was treated seeds. After four, six and eight days after planting in the leaves of garden cress were determined the specific activity of guaiacol peroxidase (GPOX), lipid peroxidation and protein content. Additionally intake of copper ions was determined using adsorption spectrometry technique. The results revealed that the applied doses of copper ions affected the activity of guaiacol peroxidase. The highest enzyme activity was found in plant material, which was treated with dose of copper ions 1000 mg/dm3 regardless of day. In the same samples the lowest level of lipid peroxidation was found. The highest concentrations of total proteins was found in samples treated with the highest dose of copper ions. The copper content in the tested plant material is correlated with the applied dose of copper ions. Our results indicate reliable correlations between copper content and values of oxidative stress biomarkers in plant tissues.
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