Heavy metals in contaminated environment: Destiny of secondary metabolite biosynthesis, oxidative status and phytoextraction in medicinal plants

Behnam Asgari Lajayer, Mansour Ghorbanpour, Shahab Nikabadi

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    63 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Contamination of soils, water and air with toxic heavy metals by various human activities is a crucial environmental problem in both developing and developed countries. Heavy metals could be introduced into medicinal plant products through contaminated environment (soil, water and air resources) and/or poor production practices. Growing of medicinal plants in heavy metal polluted environments may eventually affect the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, causing significant changes in the quantity and quality of these compounds. Certain medicinal and aromatic plants can absorb and accumulate metal contaminants in the harvestable foliage and, therefore, considered to be a feasible alternative for remediation of polluted sites without any contamination of essential oils. Plants use different strategies and complex arrays of enzymatic and non-enzymatic anti-oxidative defense systems to cope with overproduction of ROS causes from the heavy metals entered their cells through foliar and/or root systems. This review summarizes the reports of recent investigations involving heavy metal accumulation by medicinal plants and its effects on elicitation of secondary metabolites, toxicity and detoxification pathways, international standards regarding in plants and plant-based products, and human health risk assessment of heavy metals in soil-medicinal plants systems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)377-390
    Number of pages14
    JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
    Volume145
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Heavy metals in contaminated environment: Destiny of secondary metabolite biosynthesis, oxidative status and phytoextraction in medicinal plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this