A Sustainable Option of Developing Kitchen Gardens Based on Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) Method of Plants with Edible Leaves for Health and Well Being


  • University of Delhi, Department of Biochemistry, Institute of Home Economics, New Delhi, 110 016, India


Kitchen gardening is emerging as a sustainable and economic option to meet the food and health demands of a family. Conventionally these have been established in Indian homes since ages. Globally air pollution has become one of the major health and environment hazards and is accelerating at an alarming rate. Delhi being the capital of India experiences inferior air quality as compared to other Indian cities. Plants are known to alleviate air pollution by clarifying, interrupting and riveting pollutants. Classifying such types of plants as sensitive or tolerant groups assumes importance as the former can act as bio-indicators and later as sinks for atmospheric particulates and hence might help to mitigate air pollution. A significant contrivance to screen plant species based on sensitivity or tolerance to air pollutants is Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI). Four biochemical parameters, namely, ascorbic acid, total chlorophyll, relative water content and leaf extract pH were determined to calculate APTI of eleven plants whose leaves are habitually consumed in Delhi. These plants are Spinacia oleracae (Spinach), Chenopodium album (Bathua), Murraya koenigii (Curry leaves), Coriandrum sativum (Coriander), Mentha piperita (Mint), Brassica oleracea (Cabbage), Trigonella foenum-graecum (Methi), Anethum graveolens (Dill), Petroselinum crispum (Parsley), Allium fistulosum (Spring onion) and Moringa oleifera (Drumstick). The results of the study indicated that Moringa oleifera (Drumstick) has the highest APTI of 14.89 and Chenopodium album (Bathua) has the lowest of 5.25. It was recommend that Moringa oleifera followed by Murraya koenigii (APTI=12.89), Petroselinum crispum, Trigonella foenum-graecum (APTI=12.85) and Coriandrum sativum (APTI=11.09) as most appropriate plant species for household plantations as well as kitchen gardens.


Kitchen Gardening, Environment, Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI), Biochemical Parameters, pH, Ascorbic Acid, Total Chlorophyll.

Full Text:


Sofo, A. and Sofo, A. Converting home spaces into food gardens at the time of covid-19 quarantine: all the benefits of plants in this difficult and unprecedented period. Human ecology: An Interdisciplinary J., 2020, 1-9. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-020-00147-3

Anderson, J.O., Thundiyil, J.G. and Stolbach, A. Clearing the air: A review of the effects of particulate matter air pollution on human health. J. Med. Toxicol., 2012, 8, 166-175.

Hime, N.J., Marks, G.B. and Cowie, C.T. A Comparison of the health effects of ambient particulate matter air pollution from five emission sources. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2018, 15, 1206-1229.

World Health Organization. Ambient (outdoor) air pollution in cities database 2014. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2014.

World Health Organization. Ambient (outdoor) air quality and health database 2018. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2018.

Agbaire, P. and Esiefarienrhe, E. Air Pollution tolerance indices (APTI) of some plants around Otorogun Gas Plant in Delta State, Nigeria. J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Manag., 2010, 13, 11-14, doi: 10.4314/jasem.v13i1.55251.

Sharma, A.P. and Tripathi, B.D. Biochemical responses in tree foliage exposed to coal-fired power plant emission in seasonally dry tropical environment. Environ. Monit. Assess., 2009, 158, 197-212.

Sharma, D. and Kulshrestha, U.C. Spatial and temporal patterns of air pollutants in rural and urban areas of India. Environ. Pollu., 2014, 195, 276-281. 10.1016/ j.envpol.2014.08.026.

Ogunkunle, C.O., Suleiman, L.B., Oyedeji, S., Awotoye, O.O. and Fatoba, P.O. Assessing the air pollution tolerance index and anticipated performance index of some tree species for biomonitoring environmental health. Agrofor. Syst., 2015, 89, 447-454.

Pandey, A.K., Pandey, M., Mishra, A., Tiwary, S.M. and Tripathi, B.D. Air pollution tolerance index and anticipated performance index of some plant species for development of urban forest. Urban For Urban Green, 2015, 14, 866-871.

Press Trust of India PTI, Transport Department of Delhi government, 2017.

Rai, P.K. Environmental magnetic studies of particulates with special reference to biomagnatic monitoring using roadside plant leaves. Atmos. Environ., 2013, 72, 113-129.

Rai, P.K. Impacts of particulate matter pollution on plants: Implications for environmental bio-monitoring. Ecotoxico. Environ. Safety, 2016, 129, 120-136.

Pandey, A.K., Pandey, M., Tripathi, B.D. Assessment of air pollution tolerance index of some plants to develop vertical gardens near street canyons of a polluted tropical city. Ecotoxico. Environ. Safety, 2016, 134, 358-364.

Prajapati, S.K., Tripathi, B.D. Anticipated performance index of some tree species considered for green belt development in and around an urban area: A case study of Varanasi city, Ind. J. Environ. Manage., 2008, 88, 1343-1349.

Lee, A.C. and Maheswaran, R. The health benefits of urban green spaces: A review of the evidence. J. Public Health, 2011, 33, 212-222.

Zhang, P.Q., Liu, Y.J., Chen, X., Yang, Z., Zhu, M.H. and Li, Y.P. Pollution resistance assessment of existing land scape plants on Beijing streets based on air pollution tolerance index method. Ecotoxico. Environ. Safety, 2016, 132, 212-223.

Singh, A. Practical Plant Physiology, Kalyari Publishers, New Delhi, 1977.

Singh, S.K. and Rao, D.N. Evaluation of plants for their tolerance to air pollution. In: Proceeding of symposium on air pollution control. Indian Association of Air Pollution Control, New Delhi, 1983, 1, 218-224.

Ninave, S.Y., Chaudhari, P.R., Gajghate, D.G. and Tarar, J.L. Foliar biochemical features of plants as indicators of air pollution. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol., 2001, 67, 133-140.

Singh, S., Gupta, N.C. and Bhattacharya, P. Study of mass concentration of particulate matter exposure on weekly basis for two seasons at an urban industrial site in Delhi. Univer. J. Environ. Res. Tech., 2015, 5, 179-187.

Achakzai, K., Khalid, S., Adrees, M., Bibi, A., Ali, S., Nawaz, R. and Rizwan, M. Air pollution tolerance index of plants around brick kilns in Rawalpindi. Pak. J. Environ. Manag., 2017, 190, 252-258.

Kanayama, Y., Sato, K., Ikeda, H., Tamura, T., Nishiyama, M. and Kanahama, K. Seasonal changes in a biotic stress tolerance and concentrations of tocopherol, sugar, and ascorbic acid in sea buckthorn leaves and stems. Sci. Hortic., 2013, 164, 232-237.

Puniran-Hartley, N., Hartley, J., Shabala, L. and Shabala, S. Salinity-induced accumulation of organic osmolytes in barley and wheat leaves correlates with increased oxidative stress tolerance in planta evidence for cross tolerance. Plant Physiol. Biochem., 2014, 83, 32-39.

Penella, C., Nebauer, S.G., Quiñones, A., San, B.A., López-Galarza, S. and Calatayud, A. Some root stocks improve pepper tolerance to mild salinity through ionic regulation. Plant Sci., 2015, 230, 12-22.

Gałuszka, A., Migaszewski, Z.M., Podlaski, R., Dołęgowska, S. and Michalik, A. The influence of chloride deicers on mineral nutrition and the health status of roadside trees in the city of Kielce, Poland. Environ. Monit. Assess., 2011, 176, 451-464.

Yan-Ju, L. and Hui, D. Variation in air pollution tolerance index of plant near a steel factory; implications for landscape- plant species selection for industrial areas. WSEAS Trans. Environ. Dev., 2008, 4, 24-30.

Sadasivam, S. and Balasubraminan, T. In: Practical Manual in Biochemistry Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. 1987, 14.

Arnon, D.I. Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts polyphenol oxidase in Beta Vulgaris. Plant. Physiol., 1949, 24, 1-15.

Kalyani and Sinhgaracharya, Biomonitoring of air pollution in warangal city, Andra Pradesh, Acta. Bot. indica, 1995, 23, 21-24.

Katiyar, V. and Dubey, P.S. Sulphur dioxide sensitivity on two stage of leaf development in a few tropical tree species. Ind. J. Environ. Toxicol., 2001, 11, 78-81.

Agrawal, M., Singh, B., Rajput, M., Marshall, F. and Bell, J.N.B. Effect of air pollution on peri-urban agriculture: A case study. Environ. Pollut., 2003, 126, 323-329.

Petkovsek, S.S., Batic, F. and Lasnik, C.R. Norway spruce needles as bio-indicator of air pollution in the area of influence of the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant Slovenia. Environ. Pollut., 2007, 151, 287-291.

Klumpp, G., Furlan, C.M. and Domingos, M. Response of stress indicators and growth parameters of Tibouchina Pulchra Cogn exposed to air and soil pollution near the industrial complex of Cubatao. Braz. Sci. Total Environ., 2000, 246, 79-91.

Conklin, P.L. Recent advances in the role and biosynthesis of ascorbic acid in plants. Plant Cell Environ., 2001, 24, 383-394.

Bermadinger, E., Guttenberger, H. and Grill, D. Physiology of young Norway spruce. Environ. Pollut., 1990, 68, 319-330.

Härtling, S. and Schulz, H. Ascorbate and Glutathion gehaltinverschied enartig schadstoffbeeinflußten Nadelnv on Pinussyl vestris L. Forstwissenschaftliches Centralblatt, 1995, 114, 40-49.

Dedio, W. Water relations in wheat leaves as screening test for drought resistance. Can. J. Plant Sci., 1975, 55, 369-378.

Singh, S.N., Verma, A. Phytoremediation of air pollutants: A review. In: Singh, S.N., Tripathi, R.D. (Eds.), Environmental Bioremediation Technology 1. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg, 2007, 293-314.

Puckett, K.J., Nieboer, E., Flora, W.P. and Richardson, D.H.S. Sulphurdioxide: Its effect on photosynthetic 14C fixation in lichens and suggested mechanism of phytotoxicity. New Phytol., 1973, 72, 141-154.

Guderian, R. Terrestrial ecosystems: Particulate deposition In: Air pollutants and their effects on the terrestrial ecosystem. In: Legge, A.H., Krupa, S.V. (Eds.), Advances in Environmental Science and Technology vol.18.Wiley, New York, USA. 1986, 339-363.

Turk, R., Wirth, V. The pH dependence of SO2 damage to lichens. Oecologia., 1975, 19,


Rathore, D.S., Kain, T. and Gothalkar, P. A Study of air pollution status by estimation of apti of certain plant species around Pratapnagar Circle in Udaipur city. Int. J. Agr. Environ. Biotechnol., 2018, 11, 33-38.

Panda, L.R.L., Aggarwal, R.K. and Bhardwaj, D.R. A review on Air Pollution Tolerance Index (APTI) and Anticipated Performance Index (API). Curr. World Environ., 2018, 1, 55-65.

Olson, M.E., Sankaran, R.P., Fahey, J.W., Grusak, M.A., Odee, D. and Nouman, W. Leaf protein and mineral concentrations across the “Miracle Tree†genus moringa. PLoS One, 2016, 26, 11.

Jain, V., Momin, M., Laddha, K. and Murraya Koenigii: An updated review. Int. J. Ayurved. Herb. Med., 2012, 2, 607-627.

Sahib, N.G., Anwar, F., Gilani, A.H., Hamid, A.A., Saari, N. and Alkharfy, K.M. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.): A potential source of high-value components for functional foods and nutraceuticals- A review. Phytother. Res., 2013, 27, 1439-1456.


  • There are currently no refbacks.