The heavy metal tolerance in corn ( Zea mays
L.) var. 'Neelum' was assessed at germination and seedling growth after having subjected it to different concentrations of CuSO4
. Germination was not affected by any of the metal tested, whereas initial growth was strongly inhibited by increasing concentrations of ZnSO4
. Seedlings developed toxicity symptoms in the presence of both metals but more chlorotic and necrotic regions were observed at varying levels of ZnSO4
. The metal accumulation was concentration dependent. Z. mays
seedlings accumulated more copper in roots but greater contents of zinc in their shoots. On the basis of results presented here, it can be concluded that the cultivar of the species tested has shown a marked sensitivity to the presence of small amounts of metals present in the growth medium. The data support the assumption that metal sensitivity is probably due to strong tendency ofthe species to accumulate them. This justifiesthat the corn variety 'Neelum' isnot suitable for thecultivation under situations where water and soil suffer from occasional and/ or transitory metal pollution.