Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 34, pp 34473–34486 | Cite as

Comparative effects of arsenite (As(III)) and arsenate (As(V)) on whole plants and cell lines of the arsenic-resistant halophyte plant species Atriplex atacamensis

  • Delphine Vromman
  • Juan-Pablo Martínez
  • Mahendra Kumar
  • Zdenka Šlejkovec
  • Stanley LuttsEmail author
Research Article


Whole plants and hypocotyl-derived calli of the halophyte plant species Atriplex atacamensis were exposed to 50 μM arsenate (As(V)) or 50 μM arsenite (As(III)). At the whole plant level, As(III) was more toxic than As(V): it reduced plant growth, stomatal conductance, photosystem II efficiency while As(V) did not. In roots, As accumulated to higher level in response to As(III) than in response to As(V). Within root tissues, both arsenate and arsenite were identified in response to each treatment suggesting that oxidation of As(III) may occur. More than 40% of As was bound to the cell wall in the roots of As(V)-treated plants while this proportion strongly decreased in As(III)-treated ones. In leaves, total As and the proportion of As bound to the cell wall were similar in response to As(V) and As(III). Non-protein thiol increased to higher extent in response to As(V) than in response to As(III) while ethylene synthesis was increased in As(III)-treated plants only. Polyamine profile was modified in a contrasting way in response to As(V) and As(III). At the callus level, As(V) and As(III) 50 μM did not reduce growth despite an important As accumulation within tissues. Calli exposed to 50 μM As did not increase the endogenous non-protein thiol. In contrast to the whole plants, arsenite was not more toxic than arsenate at the cell line level and As(V)-treated calli produced higher amounts of ethylene and malondialdehyde. A very high dose of As(V) (1000 μM) strongly reduced callus growth and lead to non-protein thiols accumulation. It is concluded that As(III) was more toxic than As(V) at the plant level but not at the cellular level and that differential toxicity was not fully explained by speciation of accumulated As. Arsenic resistance in A. atacamensis exhibited a cellular component which however did not reflect the behavior of whole plant when exposed to As(V) or As(III).


Arsenic Atriplex atacamensis Halophyte Phytoremediation 


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Delphine Vromman
    • 1
  • Juan-Pablo Martínez
    • 2
  • Mahendra Kumar
    • 3
  • Zdenka Šlejkovec
    • 4
  • Stanley Lutts
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Groupe de Recherche en Physiologie végétale–Earth and Life Institute-Agronomy (ELI-A)Université catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, INIA-La CruzLa CruzChile
  3. 3.Science ResearchIquiqueChile
  4. 4.Jožef Stefan InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia

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