Marschner Review

Plant and Soil

, Volume 327, Issue 1, pp 1-21

Arsenic uptake and toxicity in plants: integrating mycorrhizal influences

  • Sally E. SmithAffiliated withSoil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Waite Campus, The University of Adelaide Email author 
  • , Helle M. ChristophersenAffiliated withSoil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Waite Campus, The University of Adelaide
  • , Suzanne PopeAffiliated withSoil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Waite Campus, The University of Adelaide
  • , F. Andrew SmithAffiliated withSoil and Land Systems, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Waite Campus, The University of Adelaide

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Abstract

Arsenic (As) contamination of soil and water is a global problem that impacts on many areas of biology. This review firstly covers aspects of soil chemistry and soil-plant interactions relevant to the ways plants take up As (particularly arsenate (As(V)) from aerobic soils, with especial attention to As-phosphorus (P) interactions. It then assesses the extent to which studies of plant As tolerance based on short-term uptake of As(V) from nutrient solutions can be extrapolated to longer-term growth in contaminated soil. Mycorrhizal symbioses are then highlighted, because they are formed by ~ 90% of higher plants, often with increased uptake of phosphate (Pi) compared with non-mycorrhizal (NM) counterparts. It is therefore likely that mycorrhizas influence As(V) uptake. Published work shows that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) plants (the most common mycorrhizal type) have higher P/As ratios than NM plants, and this would be expected to affect sensitivity to soil As. We discuss ways in which higher P/As selectivity might result from differential operation of P and As uptake pathways in AM compared with NM plants, taking into account new understanding of P uptake mechanisms. We also give suggestions for future research required to increase understanding of mechanisms of As(V) uptake, and its interactions with plant P.

Keywords

Arsenic Phosphate Mechanisms of plant tolerance Mycorrhizas Soil toxicity