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Aquatic organisms are exposed to many stressors, e.g., heavy metals. Brassinosteroids, a plant hormone group, can effectively stimulate plants to defend against the negative impact of a heavy metal. The present study was conducted with an aim to find out the influence of 24-epibrassinolide (EBL) on Acutodesmus obliquus treated with 0.01 and 500 μM of lead (Pb) ions during 7 days of cultivation. Pb has a toxic effect on algal cultures because it limits both the growth and development and induces oxidative stress. Simultaneously, 1 μM EBL was involved in protecting algal cells against the toxic effect of Pb. Despite the presence of Pb, EBL significantly increased the number of algal cells and their metabolite content (e.g., proteins, monosaccharides, chlorophylls, carotenes, and xanthophylls). Cultures treated concurrently with EBL and Pb were characterized by a reduction in their content of endogenous Pb, H2O2, and malondialdehyde. Also, EBL increased the activity of catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, and the content of ascorbate and glutathione. EBL increased the phytochelatin synthase activity, thereby enhancing the production of phytochelatins accountable for both binding and detoxification of Pb. These results indicate the influence of EBL on the inhibitory effect of Pb in A. obliquus. These findings help to clarify the role of BRs in the algal adaptation to the prevailing stressful conditions.
Talarek-Karwel, M., Bajguz, A., & Piotrowska-Niczyporuk, A. (2020). 24-Epibrassinolide modulates primary metabolites, antioxidants, and phytochelatins in Acutodesmus obliquus exposed to lead stress. Journal of Applied Phycology, 32(1), 263–276. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-019-01966-8