Stress Signaling Under Metal and Metalloid Toxicity

  • Rabia Amir
  • Saman Taufiq
  • Norina Noor
  • Irum Nauman
  • Faiza Munir
  • Rumana Keyani
  • Ayesha T. Tahir


Plants growth and development is greatly dependent on metals such as copper, manganese and iron and it can disrupt normal functions of a plant when the same metals accumulate in excess. Therefore, a balance in metal concentration in required to fulfill the need of plant’s nutrition and at the same time do not cause any toxic effects to a plant. Plants have evolved various efficient mechanisms to keep metal homeostasis. Homeostasis is a process that involves number of steps including metal uptake, chelation, trafficking and sequestration. Furthermore, the physiological responses of plants to heavy metal and the cellular mechanisms that are required for heavy metal stress tolerance are of great significance. Plant hormones interaction with heavy metals along with other factors like stress signaling induced gene expression and the study of metal stress at gene, enzyme and proteome level is vital to lessen their toxic effects. The intercellular concentrations of metal ions saturates the defense systems in plants which in turns triggers the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and the inhibition of metal dependent antioxidant enzymes. On the basis of physicochemical properties, the bioactive-metals have been divided into two categories that are redox-active metals such as Cu, Cr, Fe and Mn and non-redox active metals such as Ni, Cd, Zn, Hg and Al. The mechanism of toxicity tolerance in some plants involves the binding of toxic metals at cell walls of leaves and roots, away from sensitive locations within the cell or storing them in a vacuolar section thus helping the plants to cope the metal stress.


Abiotic stress Calcium Cadmium Nitric oxide Stress signaling Phytoremediation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rabia Amir
    • 1
  • Saman Taufiq
    • 1
  • Norina Noor
    • 1
  • Irum Nauman
    • 1
  • Faiza Munir
    • 1
  • Rumana Keyani
    • 2
  • Ayesha T. Tahir
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant Biotechnology, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB)National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST)IslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Bio Sciences DepartmentComsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT)IslamabadPakistan

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