Phytoremediation potential of Salvinia molesta for arsenite contaminated water: role of antioxidant enzymes
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Antioxidant enzymes are important components in the defense against arsenic (As) stress in plants. Here, we tested the hypothesis that Salvinia molesta, an aquatic fern, counteracts the harmful arsenite (AsIII) effects by activating scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) enzymes. Thus, our objective was to investigate the role of the superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POX), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) in S. molesta tolerance to AsIII and indicate the use of this plant in remediation of contaminated water. Plants were grown in nutrient solution at pH 6.5 and exposed to 0, 5, 10, or 20 µM AsIII for 96 h (analyses of As absorption, mineral nutrient content, and relative growth rate) and for 24 h (analyses of oxidative stress indicators and enzymatic antioxidant defenses). In the floating leaves, there was a greater basal activity of the antioxidant enzymes and less accumulation of As than in submerged leaves. The submerged leaves, which function as roots in S. molesta, accumulated more As than floating leaves, and SOD and CAT activities were inhibited. Thus, there was a greater production of ROS and oxidative stress. Our results show that S. molesta presents enzymatic antioxidant defenses to alleviate AsIII toxicity and are more effectives in the floating leaves. These results are important to elucidate the AsIII tolerance mechanisms in S. molesta and the possibility of their use in contamined water phytoremediation. Additional studies exposing plants to more prolonged stress and using AsIII concentrations closer to those found in contaminated environments will confirm this claim.
KeywordsArsenic Macrophytes Phytoremediator species Water contamination
The authors acknowledge the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG), the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and the Federal University of Viçosa for financial support.
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