Symbiotic Microorganisms Enhance Antioxidant Defense in Plants Exposed to Metal/Metalloid-Contaminated Soils

  • Laíze A. F. VilelaEmail author
  • Anita F. S. Teixeira
  • Felipe M. O. Lourenço
  • Marta D. Souza


Symbiotic microorganisms increase plants resistance to metal(oid)s toxicity by various mechanisms, including changes in antioxidant defense system. Apparently, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and diazotrophic bacteria modify the antioxidant system response to metal(oid)s contamination. There are positive results in enzymatic and non-enzymatic defense systems. AMF can accumulate ROS in your structures (arbuscules, apoplastic spaces of hyphae, fungal cytosol, intracellular hyphae, cell wall of hyphae and spores). These microorganisms up-regulate various antioxidant defense system enzymes such as SOD, CAT, POD, APX, and GR and regulate genes encoding proteins involved in ROS homeostasis. Higher concentrations of non-enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, tocopherol, carotenoids) occur more frequently in colonized plants. Future research should prioritize physiological and molecular genetic approaches under metal(loid)s phytotoxicity in plants associated with these microorganisms. Moreover, advanced ultrastructural analysis techniques can support identification of ROS and antioxidant molecules and enzymes distribution in the structures of these microorganisms.


Metal tolerance Mycorrhizal symbiosis AM fungi Nitrogen-fixing bacterial Glutathione Reactive oxygen species 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laíze A. F. Vilela
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anita F. S. Teixeira
    • 2
  • Felipe M. O. Lourenço
    • 1
  • Marta D. Souza
    • 1
  1. 1.Nature Science CenterFederal University of São CarlosBuriBrazil
  2. 2.Soil Science DepartmentFederal University of LavrasLavrasBrazil

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