Fumigation experiments with young cloned spruce trees were performed in a pilot study to test the trees' ability to react to pollutant impact. After 41 days of exposure to 10-ppb Halone 1211 (difluoro-chloro-bromo-methane), changes in needle fresh weight, protein content, and pigment pattern were observed compared to a control fumigation with purified air. These changes, however, seemed nonspecific reactions to a pollutant climate because they were also obtained after fumigation with nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Only in the halone-fumigated trees was up to fourfold increases of the activity of glutathione-S-transferase, a constitutive detoxification enzyme in spruce observed. The significance of this reaction for biomonitoring of halogenated compounds is discussed.
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