Silicon alleviates arsenic-induced toxicity in wheat through vacuolar sequestration and ROS scavenging

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Arsenic (As) is a phytotoxic element causing health hazards. This work investigates whether and how silicon (Si) alleviates As toxicity in wheat. The addition of Si under As-stress significantly improved morphophysiological characteristics, total protein, and membrane stability compared to As-stressed plants, suggesting that Si does have critical roles in As detoxification in wheat. Analysis of arsenate reductase activity and phytosiderophore (PS) release reveals their no involvement in the Si-mediated alleviation of As in wheat. Furthermore, Si supplementation in As-stressed plants showed a significant increase of As in roots but not in shoots compared with the plants grown under As stress. Further, gene expression analysis of two chelating molecules, TaPCS1 (phytochelatin synthase) and TaMT1 (metallothionein synthase) showed significant induction due to Si application under As stress compared with As-stressed plants. It is consistent with the physiological observations and suggests that alleviation of As toxicity in rice might be associated with As sequestration in roots leading to reduced As translocation in shoots. Furthermore, increased catalase, peroxidase, and glutathione reductase activities in roots imply the active involvement of reactive oxygen species scavenging for protecting wheat plants from As-induced oxidative injury. The study provides mechanistic evidence on the beneficial effect of Si on As toxicity in wheat plants.

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Hossain, M. M., Khatun, M. A., Haque, M. N., Bari, M. A., Alam, M. F., Mandal, A., & Kabir, A. H. (2018). Silicon alleviates arsenic-induced toxicity in wheat through vacuolar sequestration and ROS scavenging. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 20(8), 796–804.

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