Silicon Alleviates Nickel-Induced Oxidative Stress by Regulating Antioxidant Defense and Glyoxalase Systems in Mustard Plants

  • Elsayed F. Abd_AllahEmail author
  • Abeer Hashem
  • Pravej Alam
  • Parvaiz AhmadEmail author


Soil polluted with heavy metals is a continuous threat to global crop production. The present study deals with growth, biochemical attributes, photosynthetic pigments, antioxidant responses and gyloxalase systems of mustard plants under varying concentrations of nickel (Ni) stress. Ni stress (150 µM) reduced growth (shoot length by 34.46% and root length by 52.49%), chlorophyll (57.63%), gas exchange parameters (PN by 36.84%, A by 55.61%), leaf relative water content (LRWC by 24.34%), and enhanced hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 by3.23 fold) malondialdehyde (MDA by 2.07 fold), and methylglyoxal (MG by 3.32 fold) content. Si (10− 5 M) application ameliorated the negative effects of Ni on growth, chlorophyll content, photosynthetic traits and also elevated the activities of antioxidant enzymes and enzymes associated with the ascorbate glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle and glyoxylase systems. Nevertheless, Si application to Ni-stressed plants had an additive effect on the enzyme activities of antioxidants and enzymes of AsA-GSH cycle. Exogenous Si supplementation elevated endogenous Si content which decreased root to shoot Ni translocation and maintained optimum osmolyte and secondary metabolite accumulation. We conclude that Si-induced Ni stress tolerance in mustard plants could be correlated with the upregulation of enzymes associated with antioxidant defence, glyoxalase detoxification systems and sufficient primary and secondary osmoprotectant accumulation.


Mustard Nickel stress Antioxidant enzymes Glyoxalase system AsA-GSH cycle Silicon 



The authors would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for funding this research group No (RGP-271). The authors also acknowledge Research Support Service Unit, King Saud University for their technical assistance.

Author Contributions

EFAA and PA outlined the experimental setup. AH and PAlam performed the statistical analysis and revised the manuscript. EFAA and PA wrote the manuscript. The manuscript was read by all authors and approved for submission.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest exists among the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Production, Faculty of Food & Agricultural SciencesKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Botany and Microbiology Department, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Mycology and Plant Disease Survey Department, Plant Pathology Research InstituteARCGizaEgypt
  4. 4.Biology Department, College of Science and HumanitiesPrince Sattam bin Abdulaziz UniversityAlkharjKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  5. 5.Department of BotanyS.P. CollegeSrinagarIndia

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