Characterization of Hg-phytochelatins complexes in vines (Vitis vinifera cv Malbec) as defense mechanism against metal stress
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An approach to understand vines (Vitis vinifera) defense mechanism against heavy metal stress by isolation and determination of Hg-phytochelatins (PCs) complexes was performed. PCs are important molecules involved in the control of metal concentration in plants. PCs complex toxic metals through −SH groups and stores them inside cells vacuole avoiding any toxic effect of free metals in the cytosol. The Hg-PCs identification was achieved by determination of Hg and S as hetero-tagged atoms. A method involving two-dimensional chromatographic analysis coupled to atomic spectrometry and confirmation by tandem mass spectrometry is proposed. An approach involving size exclusion chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry on roots, stems, and leaves extracts describing Hg distribution according to molecular weight and sulfur associations is proposed for the first time. Medium–low molecular weight Hg–S associations of 29–100 kDa were found, suggesting PCs presence. A second approach employing reversed-phase chromatography coupled to atomic fluorescence spectrometry analysis allowed the determination of Hg-PCs complexes within the mentioned fractions. Chromatograms showed Hg-PC2, Hg-PC3 and Hg-PC4 presence only in roots. Hg-PCs presence in roots was confirmed by ESI–MS/MS analysis.
KeywordsVitis vinifera Mercury Phytochelatins Metal stress
This work was supported by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (FONCYT) (PICTBID), Universidad Nacional de San Luis (Argentina), Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Argentina), and Instituto Nacional de Técnicas Agropecuarias.
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