The liverwort Lunularia cruciata, known for being a species tolerant to pollution able to colonize urban areas, was collected in the town of Acerra (South Italy) to investigate the biological effects of air pollution in one of the three vertices of the so-called Italian Triangle of Death. The ultrastructural damages observed by transmission electron microscopy in specimens collected in Acerra were compared with samples collected in the city center of Naples and in a small rural site far from sources of air pollution (Riccia, Molise, Southern Italy). The biological response chain to air pollution was investigated considering vitality, photosynthetic efficiency, heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) induction and gene expression levels, and chlorophyll degradation and related ultrastructural alterations. Particularly, a significant increment in Hsp70 expression and occurrence, and modifications in the chloroplastsâ ultrastructure can be strictly related to the environmental pollution conditions in the three sites. The results could be interpreted in relation to the use of these parameters as biomarkers for environmental pollution.
The biological response chain to pollution: a case study from the "Italian Triangle of Death" assessed with the liverwort Lunularia cruciata / Basile, Adriana; Loppi, Stefano; Piscopo, Marina; Paoli, Luca; Vannini, Andrea; Monaci, Fabrizio; Sorbo, Sergio; Lentini, Marco; Esposito, Sergio. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0944-1344. - 24:34(2017), pp. 26185-26193. [10.1007/s11356-017-9304-y]
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