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The phytotoxic effects of fluoride and its derivatives on the seeds and seedlings of the Colobanthus apetalus and Colobanthus quitensis were studied. This is a first study to evaluate the influence of sodium fluoride (NaF) on the morphophysiological and biochemical processes on two Colobanthus species. The influence of various concentrations of NaF (9 mM, 19 mM, 29 mM) on the germination capacity and germination rate of seeds, seedlings growth and the proline content of plant tissues was analyzed under laboratory conditions (20/10°C, 12/12 h). The seeds of C. apetalus were collected from a greenhouse, whereas the seeds of C. quitensis were collected in Antarctica and in a greenhouse (Olsztyn, Poland). The tested concentrations of NaF did not suppress the germination of C. apetalus seeds, but the germination of C. quitensis seeds was inhibited. Sodium fluoride mainly inhibited root growth of C. apetalus and C. quitensis. In both analyzed species, the free proline content of seedlings increased significantly under exposure to NaF. The results of this study clearly indicate that C. apetalus and C. quitensis are highly resistant to NaF stress.
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