Thiol synthesis and arsenic hyperaccumulation in Pteris vittata (Chinese brake fern)

  • Zhang W
  • Cai Y
  • Downum K
 et al. 
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Pteris vittata (Chinese brake fern) has potential for phytoremediation of As-contaminated sites. In this study, the synthesis of total thiols and acid-soluble thiols in P. vittata was investigated under arsenic exposure. The strong and positive correlation between As concentration and acid-soluble thiols in plant leaflets suggests that acid-soluble thiols may play a role in As detoxification. A major As-induced thiol was purified and characterized. A molecular ion (M+1) of 540 m/z suggests that the thiol was a phytochelatin (PC) with two base units (PC2). However, the ratios of acid-soluble thiols to As in leaflets exposed to As ranged from 0.012 to 0.026, suggesting that only a very small part of As is complexed by PC2. PCs could play a minor detoxification role in this hyperaccumulator. A PC-independent mechanism appears to be mainly involved in As tolerance, while PC-dependent detoxification seems to be a supplement. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Arsenic hyperaccumulator
  • Chinese brake fern
  • Phytochelatin
  • Phytochelatin purification
  • Pteris vittata
  • Thiols

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