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BioMetals

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 719–732 | Cite as

Methane enhances aluminum resistance in alfalfa seedlings by reducing aluminum accumulation and reestablishing redox homeostasis

  • Weiti Cui
  • Hong Cao
  • Ping Yao
  • Jincheng Pan
  • Quan Gu
  • Sheng Xu
  • Ren Wang
  • Zhaozeng Ouyang
  • Qingya WangEmail author
  • Wenbiao ShenEmail author
Article

Abstract

Methane (CH4) is emerging as a candidate of signal molecule recently. However, whether or how CH4 enhances plant adaptation to aluminum (Al)-contaminated environment is still unknown. In this report, the physiological roles and possible molecular mechanisms of CH4 in the modulation of Al toxicity in alfalfa seedlings were characterized. Our results showed that, CH4 pretreatment could alleviate Al-induced seedling growth inhibition and redox imbalance. The defensive effects of CH4 against Al toxicity including the remission of Al-induced root elongation inhibition, nutrient disorder, and relative electrolyte leakage. Moreover, contents of organic acids, including citrate, malate, and oxalate, were increased by CH4. These results were paralleled by the findings of CH4 regulated organic acids metabolism and transport genes, citrate synthase, malate dehydrogenase, aluminum-activated malate transporter, and aluminum activated citrate transporter. Consistently, Al accumulation in seedling roots was decreased after CH4 treatment. In addition, Al-induced oxidative stress was also alleviated by CH4, through the regulation of the activities of anti-oxidative enzymes, such as ascorbate peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and peroxidase, as well as their corresponding transcripts. Our data clearly suggested that CH4 alleviates Al toxicity by reducing Al accumulation in organic acid-dependent fashion, and reestablishing redox homeostasis.

Keywords

Aluminum (Al) toxicity Methane Medicago sativa Organic acids Oxidative stress 

Abbreviations

AACT

Aluminum activated citrate transporter

Al

Aluminum

ALMT

Aluminum-activated malate transporter

APX

Ascorbic acid peroxidase

CAT

Catalase

CH4

Methane

CS

Citrate synthase

DAB

Diaminobenzidine

GR

Glutathione reductase

HPLC

High performance liquid chromatography

ICP-OES

Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer

MDH

Malate dehydrogenase

NO

Nitric oxide

POD

Guaiacol peroxidase

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

TBARS

Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (J1210056 and J1310015), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20130683), and Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD). We also thank Dr. Evan Evans from the University of Tasmania, Australia for his kind help in editing the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10534_2017_40_MOESM1_ESM.doc (38 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 38 kb)
10534_2017_40_MOESM2_ESM.doc (43 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 43 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weiti Cui
    • 1
  • Hong Cao
    • 1
  • Ping Yao
    • 1
  • Jincheng Pan
    • 1
  • Quan Gu
    • 1
  • Sheng Xu
    • 2
  • Ren Wang
    • 2
  • Zhaozeng Ouyang
    • 3
  • Qingya Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wenbiao Shen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Life Sciences, Laboratory Center of Life SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Institute of BotanyJiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of ScienceNanjingChina
  3. 3.Shuigu Environmental Protection Technological Company LtdShanghaiChina

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