The present investigation was conducted to study the effect of gypsum dust on the performance of plasma membrane (PM) lipids and antioxidant enzyme activities of Zygophyllum album and Z. coccineum grown in desert ecosystems. Two different locations were selected in South Sinai, Egypt to achieve such goals; the first location was in the vicinity of a gypsum factory (polluted location) (Ras Malaab) and the other one was 25 km away from the factory (Wadi Thal). Gypsum dust increased the element concentrations in the soil of Ras Malaab area while soil pH decreased. Heavy metal pollution has increased succulence and concentration of the studied elements, more so with Ca2+ and Al3+. The activity of ascorbic acid oxidase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase were increased whereas that of catalase was decreased in both species under pollution conditions. Lipid peroxidation was increased in response to soil pollution. Different PM lipids and phospholipids species were altered in Z. album and Z. coccineum as a result of soil pollution. Under such conditions remarkable changes in PM free fatty acids were observed resulting in increased sat/unsat ratio of both species and these changes were discussed in relation to plant performance.
Gypsum factory, Zygophyllum, Plasma membrane lipids, antioxidant enzymes, heavy metals