Glutathione and transpiration as key factors conditioning oxidative stress in Arabidopsis thaliana exposed to uranium
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Although oxidative stress has been previously described in plants exposed to uranium (U), some uncertainty remains about the role of glutathione and tocopherol availability in the different responsiveness of plants to photo-oxidative damage. Moreover, in most cases, little consideration is given to the role of water transport in shoot heavy metal accumulation. Here, we investigated the effect of uranyl nitrate exposure (50 μM) on PSII and parameters involved in water transport (leaf transpiration and aquaporin gene expression) of Arabidopsis wild type (WT) and mutant plants that are deficient in tocopherol (vte1: null α/γ-tocopherol and vte4: null α-tocopherol) and glutathione biosynthesis (high content: cad1.3 and low content: cad2.1). We show how U exposure induced photosynthetic inhibition that entailed an electron sink/source imbalance that caused PSII photoinhibition in the mutants. The WT was the only line where U did not damage PSII. The increase in energy thermal dissipation observed in all the plants exposed to U did not avoid photo-oxidative damage of mutants. The maintenance of control of glutathione and malondialdehyde contents probed to be target points for the overcoming of photoinhibition in the WT. The relationship between leaf U content and leaf transpiration confirmed the relevance of water transport in heavy metals partitioning and accumulation in leaves, with the consequent implication of susceptibility to oxidative stress.
KeywordsArabidopsis Chlorophyll fluorescence Photosynthesis Plant hormones Transpiration Tocopherol Uranium
This work has been funded by the Région Rhône-Alpes CMIRA program and by the CEA program of Toxicology. RA and RP were supported by Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain (AGL2011-25403 project). The authors would like to thank Serge Berthet for his help with the ICP-MS measurements.
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