Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 26, pp 26669–26681 | Cite as

Soil sustainable utilization technology: mechanism of flavonols in resistance process of heavy metal

  • Min Li
  • Xu ZhangEmail author
  • Huanhuan Yang
  • Xinxin Li
  • Zhaojie CuiEmail author
Research Article


The soil ecosystem is critical for agricultural production, affecting many aspects of human health. Soil has more unknown biodiversity and edaphic parameters than any other ecosystem especially when polluted. Metagenomics and metatranscriptomics were applied to research on toxicological characteristics of Pb and resistance mechanism of flavonols. Rhizosphere microorganisms–plants system, a unified system closely related to soil environment was taken as research object. Results emphasize gene expression changes in different test groups. Gene ontology enrichment and eggNOG showed that Pb has a toxic effect on gene and protein function which concentrated on ATPase and ATP-dependent activity. Differentially expressed genes in the flavonols group indicated that flavonols regulate amino acid transport and other transportation process related to Pb stress. Kegg analysis represents that Pb interferences energy production process via not only the upstream like glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) circle but also oxidative phosphorylation process, which can also produce reactive oxygen species and impact the eliminating process. Flavonols have shown the ability in alleviating toxic effect of Pb and improving the resistance of plants. Flavonols can recover the electronic transmission and other process in TCA and oxidative phosphorylation via ascorbic acid-glutathione metabolism. Flavonols activated antioxidative process and non-specific immunity via vitamins B2–B6 metabolism.


Kegg pathway Heavy metal Plant resistance ROS 



The authors are grateful to School of Life Sciences in Shandong University for their suggestions and support to improve the basic research. Special thanks are extended to Department of Plant and Microbial Biology in University of Zurich for technical support and article modification. Many thanks to CSC (Xu Zhang was supported by China Scholarship Council for 13 months study at University of Zurich). The authors would like to thank all the anonymous referees for their constructive comments and suggestions.

Funding information

This research was funded by Shandong University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringShandong UniversityJinanChina
  2. 2.School of Life ScienceShandong UniversityJinanChina
  3. 3.Department of Plant and Microbial BiologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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