Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 1169–1192 | Cite as

Toxicity and detoxification of heavy metals during plant growth and metabolism

  • Sonali DubeyEmail author
  • Manju Shri
  • Anubhuti Gupta
  • Vibha Rani
  • Debasis Chakrabarty


Pollution of plants by heavy metals is a critical health issue because metals can be transmitted to animals and humans. Heavy metal exposure induces an oxidative stress in plant, resulting in cellular damage and altered cellular ionic homeostasis. As a consequence, plants start detoxification mechanisms. Here, we review heavy metal toxicity and impact. We discuss metabolism and detoxification strategies of heavy metals and metalloid, with emphasis on the use of transcriptomics, metabolomics, and proteomics. A section highlights microRNA (miRNA) as critical regulators of heavy metal stress in plants. We also present bioremediation and phytoremediation methods to remove metals.


Heavy metal Toxicity Plants Oxidative stress Tolerance Detoxification Defense mechanism microRNAs Phytoremediation 



The authors acknowledge the financial assistance from SERB project File No. YSS/2015/000742. The authors acknowledge Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida, for providing facilities and support during the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyJaypee Institute of Information TechnologyNoidaIndia
  2. 2.Central University of GujaratGandhinagarIndia
  3. 3.Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI)LucknowIndia

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