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24-Epibrassinolide mitigates nickel toxicity in young Eucalyptus urophylla S.T. Blake plants: nutritional, physiological, biochemical, anatomical and morphological responses

  • Alaene Teixeira Ribeiro
  • Victor Pereira de Oliveira
  • Udson de Oliveira Barros Junior
  • Breno Ricardo Serrão da Silva
  • Bruno Lemos Batista
  • Allan Klynger da Silva LobatoEmail author
Research Paper

Abstract

Key message

Our research revealed that 24-epibrassinolide alleviated nickel toxicity in young Eucalyptus urophylla plants, inducing benefits on nutritional, physiological, biochemical, anatomical and morphological responses.

Context

Soil contamination by heavy metals may limit the Eucalyptus production. Disturbances caused by nickel (Ni) toxicity interfere with the absorption of other essential nutrients. 24-Epibrassinolide (EBR) is one form of brassinosteroid (BR) that provides benefits for plant metabolism under Ni toxicity.

Aims

The aim of this study was to determine whether exogenous EBR can improve ionic homeostasis by evaluating nutrient concentrations, anatomical characteristics and chlorophyll fluorescence in young Eucalyptus urophylla plants subjected to Ni toxicity.

Methods

The experiment was randomized into four treatments, including two Ni concentrations (0 and 600 μM Ni) and two 24-epibrassinolide concentrations (0 and 100 nM EBR).

Results

EBR significantly reduced Ni contents. Plants exposed to Ni2+ and sprayed with steroid had increases in the Ca2+/Ni2+ and Mn2+/Ni2+ ratios in the leaves of 38% and 15%, respectively, compared with the same treatment without EBR. The treatment of Ni2+ toxicity + EBR presented an increase of 42% in effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry, when compared with plants exposed to Ni without EBR. Ni toxicity induced negative effects on stomatal functionality, but EBR application mitigated these effects.

Conclusion

Benefits on effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry after EBR spray can be related to increases in manganese contents. EBR reduced oxidative stress, alleviating the deleterious effects induced by Ni toxicity and inducing positive repercussions on antioxidant enzymes, photosynthetic pigments and biomass.

Keywords

Eucalyptus urophylla Light capture Metal contamination Nutritional balance 24-epibrassinolide 

Abbreviations

BRs

Brassinosteroids

Ci

Intercellular CO2 concentration

E

Transpiration rate

EBR

24-epibrassinolide

EDS

Equatorial diameter of the stomata

EL

Electrolyte leakage

ETAb

Epidermis thickness from abaxial leaf side

ETAd

Epidermis thickness from adaxial leaf side

ETR

Electron transport rate

ETR/PN

Ratio between the apparent electron transport rate and net photosynthetic rate

EXC

Relative energy excess at the PSII level

F0

Minimal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state

Fe

Iron

Fm

Maximal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state

Fv

Variable fluorescence

Fv/Fm

Maximal quantum yield of PSII photochemistry

NPQ

Nonphotochemical quenching

NRAMP

Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein

PDS

Polar diameter of the stomata

PN

Net photosynthetic rate

PN/Ci

Instantaneous carboxylation efficiency

PPT

Palisade parenchyma thickness

qP

Photochemical quenching

RCD

Root cortex diameter

RDM

Root dry matter

RMD

Root metaxylem diameter

RDT

Root endodermis thickness

RET

Root epidermis thickness

SD

Stomatal density

SDM

Stem dry matter

SF

Stomatal functionality

SI

Stomatal index

SPT

Spongy parenchyma thickness

TDM

Total dry matter

Total Chl

Total chlorophyll

VCD

Vascular cylinder diameter

WUE

Water-use efficiency

ZIP

ZRT/IRT-like protein

ΦPSII

Effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alaene Teixeira Ribeiro
    • 1
  • Victor Pereira de Oliveira
    • 1
  • Udson de Oliveira Barros Junior
    • 1
  • Breno Ricardo Serrão da Silva
    • 1
  • Bruno Lemos Batista
    • 2
  • Allan Klynger da Silva Lobato
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Núcleo de Pesquisa Vegetal Básica e AplicadaUniversidade Federal Rural da AmazôniaParagominasBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Ciências Naturais e HumanasUniversidade Federal do ABCSão PauloBrazil

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