The effect of heavy metals such as chromium (VI) and lead were studied on seed germination of two species viz. Ocimum basilicum L. and Ocimum gratissimum L. Seeds were examined at various concentrations of chromium (VI) and lead. Germination of seeds was inhibited by chromium (VI) even at a lesser concentration as compared to lead. The EC50value for Ocimum gratissimum was found to be 90 ppm in case of chromium (VI) and 120 ppm in case of lead after 48 h of incubation. For Ocimum basilicum it was 45 ppm in case of chromium (VI) and 160 ppm for lead after 120 h of incubation. In addition to shortened length of plumule, a black spot in case of lead was clearly observed in Ocimum basilicum seeds. The samples were collected from Ranipet district in Tamil Nadu and observed concentration of heavy metals were more than toxic level.
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