Targeting key metabolic points for an enhanced phytoremediation of wastewaters pre-treated by the photo-Fenton process using Solanum nigrum L.

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Abstract

Several physiological, biochemical and molecular biology responses were analysed in Solanum nigrum L. plants exposed for 28 days to an effluent that resulted from the photo-Fenton treatment of a highly concentrated pesticide and systemic fungicide aqueous solution, containing metalaxyl as active compound (150mgL<sup>-1</sup>), in order to pinpoint metabolic steps for a future increase of these plants' capacity to deal with the chemical process by-products. Although plants suffered oxidative stress, as indicated by increased membrane damage and a negative effect on plant biomass, they absorbed the excess iron and acted on the resulting by-products present in the effluent after the photo-Fenton process. Nitrogen assimilation and metallothionein gene expression were down regulated, while glutathione biosynthesis increased. These results suggest an enhanced nitrogen assimilation and/or metallothionein accumulation as relevant key points for further plant improvement in order to increase the efficiency of this innovative strategy that considers integration of the photo-Fenton process (as chemical primary treatment) with S. nigrum L. plants (as biological remediation post-treatment) for heavily polluted wastewaters.

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Teixeira, J., Ferraz, P., Gouveia, C., Azevedo, F., Neves, S., Fidalgo, F., & Silva, A. M. T. (2015). Targeting key metabolic points for an enhanced phytoremediation of wastewaters pre-treated by the photo-Fenton process using Solanum nigrum L. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 120, 124–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.05.035

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