Spirulina platensis extract improves the production and defenses of the common bean grown in a heavy metals-contaminated saline soil

Mostafa M. Rady, Ahmed S. Elrys, Eman Selem, Ahmed A.A. Mohsen, Safaa M.A.I. Arnaout, Ahmed H. El-Sappah, Khaled A. El-Tarabily, El Sayed M. Desoky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Plants have to cope with several abiotic stresses, including salinity and heavy metals (HMs). Under these stresses, several extracts have been used as effective natural biostimulants, however, the use of Spirulina platensis (SP) extract (SPE) remains elusive. The effects of SPE were evaluated as soil addition (SA) and/or foliar spraying (FS) on antioxidant defenses and HMs content of common bean grown in saline soil contaminated with HMs. Individual (40 or 80 mg SPE/hill added as SA or 20 or 40 mg SPE/plant added as FS) or integrative (SA+FS) applications of SPE showed significant improvements in the following order: SA-80+FS-40 > SA-80+FS-20 > SA-40+FS-40 > SA-40+FS-20 > SA-80 > SA-40 > FS-40 > FS-20 > control. Therefore, the integrative SA+FS with 40 mg SP/plant was the most effective treatment in increasing plant growth and production, overcoming stress effects and minimizing contamination of the edible part. It significantly increased plant growth (74%–185%) and yield (107%–227%) by enhancing net photosynthetic rate (78.5%), stomatal conductance (104%), transpiration rate (124%), and contents of carotenoids (60.0%), chlorophylls (49%–51%), and NPK (271%–366%). These results were concurrent with the marked reductions in malondialdehyde (61.6%), hydrogen peroxide (42.2%), nickel (91%–94%), lead (80%–9%), and cadmium (74%–91%) contents due to the improved contents of glutathione (87.1%), ascorbate (37.0%), and α-tocopherol (77.2%), and the activities of catalase (18.1%), ascorbate peroxidase (18.3%), superoxide dismutase (192%), and glutathione reductase (52.2%) as reinforcing mechanisms. Therefore, this most effective treatment is recommended to mitigate the stress effects of salinity and HMs on common bean production while minimizing HMs in the edible part.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-257
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences (China)
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Antioxidant defense system
  • Biostimulants
  • Heavy metals
  • Microalgae extracts
  • Saline soil
  • Soil pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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