Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2006, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (1): 124-131.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2006.0018

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LI Hua-Shou1(), ZHANG Xiu-Yu1, ZENG Xiang-You2, NIE Cheng-Rong1   

  1. 1 Institute of Tropical and Subtropical Ecology, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
    2 Fruit Institute of Maoming City, Maoming, Guangzhou 525000, China
  • Received:2004-12-17 Accepted:2005-09-21 Online:2006-12-17 Published:2006-01-30


Chlorates are a group of oxidizers with strong toxic effects that can cause significant damage to plants. However, chlorates have been used as a non-selective herbicide, defoliant and desiccant. It was found that potassium chlorate can induce flowering in longan (Dimocarpus longan). It has been widely used in longan orchards in recent years, especially in north Thailand and south China, but research has shown that potassium chlorate is toxic to organisms. It can also contaminate soil and water. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of potassium chlorate stress on the growth and physiological response of peanut (Arachis hypogaea).
The main method used to induce flower initiation in longan for off-season production is the application of potassium chlorate under the tree canopy. Most research efforts have been devoted to determining the optimum time and amount of application. Little is known about the phytotoxic effects of potassium chlorate on peanut plants, which usually is planted within longan orchards. In this paper, the effects of potassium chlorate on the growth of peanut plants were studied. Using the soil culture method, six potassium chlorate treatments were used to assess its effects on seed germination, chlorophyll content, levels of electrolytic leakage (EL), membrane permeability (MP), and activities of nitrate reductase (NR) and catalase (CAT) in peanut seedling leaves, as well as the biomass and number of Rhizobium, and the transpiration and photosynthetic rates in mature peanut plants. The results showed that: when the concentration of potassium chlorate was higher than 50 mg·L-1, the germination rates of peanut seeds and root lengths were greatly reduced, while the amount of electrolytic leakage and the activity of CAT were increased significantly. When the concentration of potassium chlorate was higher than 50 mg·kg-1 in soil, its phytotoxic effects resulted in a significant increase in MP in seedling leaves, and a decrease in NR, chlorophyll, biomass and the number of Rhizobium, and a reduction in transpiration and photosynthesis. It can be concluded that soil concentrations of potassium chlorate higher than 50 mg·kg-1 would have a significantly negative effect on the growth of peanut plants.

Key words: Peanut (Arachis hypogaea), Crop, Potassium chlorate, Toxicity effects, Pollution ecology