Different mechanisms of the metalliferous Zygophyllum fabago shoots and roots to cope with Pb toxicity

  • Antonio López-Orenes /
  • Maria Celeste Dias /
  • María ángeles Ferrer /
  • Antonio Calderón /
  • José Moutinho-Pereira /
  • Carlos Correia /
  • Conceição Santos
Journal ar
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Volumen: 25
  • Número: 2
  • Fecha: 01 January 2018
  • Páginas: 1319-1330
  • ISSN: 16147499 09441344
  • Source Type: Journal
  • DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-0505-1
  • Document Type: Article
  • Publisher: Springer Verlag
© 2017, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany. Lead (Pb) remains classified as a priority pollutant. Zygophyllum fabago is considered an early colonizer of heavy metal-polluted soils under semiarid conditions, but physiological mechanisms underlying this colonizing capacity remain unclear. In order to characterize Z. fabago plants¿ performance on Pb-contaminated soils, we evaluated how Pb influenced root and shoot growth, carbon metabolism, and oxidative status. For that, 30-day-old seedlings from one population colonizing a mine tailing (¿Mercader¿) at Murcia (southeast Spain) were exposed to 500-¿M Pb(NO3)2 for 1 week. Results showed that this high dose of Pb induced no plant mortality nor senescence, though promoting plant nanism. Besides the efficiency of roots to accumulate Pb, shoots also demonstrate a high efficiency to translocate and accumulate this metal. Pb exposure decreased Zn uptake to the aerial part and reduced net photosynthetic rate (A), RuBisCO activity, chlorophyll, and soluble sugar contents in shoots. Moreover, in shoots, Pb exposure increased the levels of O2 ¿ and decreased antioxidant capacity, culminating with a loss of cell membrane integrity (electrolyte leakage) and increased protein oxidation. Compared to controls, exposed roots had less Mn and Zn levels, and despite the rise in H2O2 levels, they were able to modulate non-protein thiols presenting a robust defense capacity. This capacity may support the roots¿ ability to maintain cell membrane integrity (electrolyte leakage) with regard to control. Principal component analysis (PCA) contributed to elucidate how this species adjusts physiological mechanisms to cope with Pb toxicity, showing that roots and shoots evolved different antioxidant defenses, which demonstrates the importance of organ specificity in the response of Z. fabago to heavy metals.

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