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Glutathione S-transferase activity in aquatic macrophytes and halophytes and biotransformation potential for biocides


Glutathione S-transferase (GST) participates in the biotransformation of many xenobiotics including biocides. Its activity in plants is generally associated with their phytoremediation capabilities. Biocides have been used in agriculture and antifouling paints and they represent risks for the aquatic environment. The present study aimed to: (1) evaluate the basal GST activity in roots, stems, and leaves from thirteen plants (eleven aquatic macrophytes and two halophytes) collected at South Brazil wetlands; (2) estimate the biotransformation potential of Nothoscordum gracile for five biocides using competitive kinetic assays with 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB), a typical GST substrate. The N. gracile, Spartina alterniflora and Cakile maritima presented the highest GST activities among the tested plants. The Lineweaver–Burk plot obtained from the GST competitive kinetic assays confirmed that the biocides chlorothalonil, 4,5-dichloro-N-octyl-3(2H)-isothiazolone (DCOIT), dichlofluanid, and diuron, but not irgarol, compete with the substrate CDNB for GST. Chlorothalonil and DCOIT showed the lowest IC20 values (11.1 and 10.6 μM, respectively), followed by dichlofluanid (38.6 μM) and diuron (353.1 μM). The inhibition of GST-CDNB activity by 100 nM biocide was higher for chlorothalonil, DCOIT, and dichlofluanid (46.5, 49.0, and 45.1%, respectively) than for diuron (6.5%) and irgarol (2.2%). The present study indicates plant species that have significant GST activity and could be potentially used for phytoremediation. The competitive kinetic tests suggest that among the five biocides that were tested, chlorothalonil, DCOIT, and dichlofluanid are probably preferred for biotransformation via GST in plant.

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Financial support was provided by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Programa de Apoio à Pós-Graduação (PROAP) fellowship, Brazil, and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico CNPq (Brazil). We also thank Dr. Gilberto Fillmann and Fiamma Lemos and the research project that was sponsored by FINEP (CT-Hidro 1111/13—AIBRASIL2). This research was supported in part by the International Foundation for Science, Stockholm, Sweden, through a grant to JZ (IFS I-2-A/5350-2). JZ is a productivity research fellow from CNPq (PQ 309605/2017-2).

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Correspondence to Juliano Zanette.

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dos Santos, R.N., Machado, B.R., Hefler, S.M. et al. Glutathione S-transferase activity in aquatic macrophytes and halophytes and biotransformation potential for biocides. J Plant Res 134, 577–584 (2021).

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  • Antifouling
  • GST
  • Phytoremediation
  • Pollution
  • Wetland
  • Xenobiotic