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Sulfur mediated improved thiol metabolism, antioxidant enzymes system and reduced chromium accumulation in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) shoots


Chromium (Cr) pollution is at a worrying level in a region of oilseed rape production in China. Sulfur (S) is an indispensable element for plants that has been confirmed to play an important role in regulating plant response to heavy metal stress. The present study was conducted to examine the role of S in alleviating Cr toxicity in oilseed rape. Cr stress strongly induced oxidative stress and inhibited plant growth. Application of S significantly enhanced the tolerance of oilseed rape exposed to Cr stress by activating several detoxification mechanisms including the ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) enzyme defense system and GSH production. The Cr and phytochelatins (PC) contents in the root under S treatment were markedly higher than those under Cr stress. The transcript abundances of the heavy metal transporters HMA2 and HMA4 were lower under S treatment than under Cr treatment. Most Cr was restricted to roots, and the translocation factor (TF) of Cr was markedly decreased in oilseed rape. In conclusion, our study revealed that S application is advantageous to oilseed rape defense against Cr toxicity and inhibits Cr translocation from roots to shoots.

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This work was supported by Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation of Shaanxi Province Key Project (China, 2016NY-135), The Science and Technology Program of Yangling (China, 2018SF-05), and the Nation Natural Science Foundation of China (NO. 31271624).

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Correspondence to Jinyin Lv.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Zhang, X., Kang, J., Pang, H. et al. Sulfur mediated improved thiol metabolism, antioxidant enzymes system and reduced chromium accumulation in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) shoots. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 35492–35500 (2018).

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  • Chromium
  • Sulfur
  • Oilseed rape
  • Sulfur metabolism
  • Ascorbate-glutathione cycle
  • Sulfur and chromium transporters