Foliar application of aspartic acid lowers cadmium uptake and Cd-induced oxidative stress in rice under Cd stress

Abstract

Cadmium (Cd) contamination of farmland soils is a widespread problem around the globe, and rice (Oryza sativa L.) tends to accumulate more Cd and is considered as one of the major sources of Cd intake in humans, especially consuming rice-derived products. The current study investigated the effects of foliar applied aspartic acid (Asp) on growth parameters, biomass, chlorophyll concentration, gas exchange characteristics, Cd uptake, and antioxidative capacity in the shoots and roots of rice seedlings exposed to Cd stress. For this, 30-day-old rice nursery was transferred in the soil with aged Cd contamination (2.86 mg kg−1). After 2 weeks of growth, different concentrations (0, 10, 15, and 20 mg L−1) of Asp were foliar applied four times with a 7-day interval, and the crop was harvested after 10 weeks of transplanting. Foliar applied Asp increased the plant height, shoot and root dry weight, chlorophyll concentration, and gas exchange parameters, while it reduced the Cd concentrations in both shoots and roots as well as shoot to root Cd translocation factor compared to the control. Foliar application of Asp reduced the malondialdehyde content and electrolyte leakage in rice parts compared to the control in a dose-additive manner. The activities of key antioxidant enzymes increased while peroxidase activity decreased by exogenous Asp. The increase in plant weight and photosynthesis might be due to lower Cd concentrations in plants which may reduce the oxidative stress and also help the plants to minimize direct damage caused by Cd to the photosynthetic organs.

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Acknowledgments

This work was financed by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan and Government College University of Faisalabad, Pakistan.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Rizwan.

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Responsible editor: Elena Maestri

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Rizwan, M., Ali, S., Zaheer Akbar, M. et al. Foliar application of aspartic acid lowers cadmium uptake and Cd-induced oxidative stress in rice under Cd stress. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 21938–21947 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9860-1

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Keywords

  • Antioxidants
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cadmium
  • Oxidative stress
  • Photosynthesis
  • Tolerance