Arsenic and Chromium-Induced Oxidative Stress in Metal Accumulator and Non-accumulator Plants and Detoxification Mechanisms

  • Sarita Tiwari
  • Bijaya Ketan SarangiEmail author


Mitigation of arsenic (As) and chromium (Cr) pollution is a topical environmental issue of high R&D priority due to its toxicity on living organisms and deleterious effects on the environment. Following uptake by plants, As and Cr generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induce oxidative stress, which exerts negative effects on biochemical, molecular, and cellular levels that hinder plant growth and development. When the stressor level reaches the threshold level of plant tolerance, the stress response is manifested physiologically and beyond that level, the plant succumbs. However, some plants termed as hyperaccumulators, i.e., those accumulating metal ions inside their cellular milieu with BF > 1, have evolved detoxification mechanisms due to their physiological and genetic makeup which facilitates scavenging of indigenously generated ROS. Various enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), ascorbate, glutathione, and phenolic compounds have been reported to be involved in neutralising ROS. It seems that the antioxidant defence system plays a significant role in combating metal stress and confers metal tolerance to these plants. Understanding the biochemistry of plants exposed to As and Cr stress would be beneficial for selecting As and Cr tolerant plants that are better equipped with such defence mechanisms. This chapter reviews different aspects related to antioxidant defence mechanisms in As and Cr hyperaccumulator and non-hyperaccumulator plants. This chapter also highlights usefulness of these biomarkers for screening plants with competent biochemical mechanisms for metal stress tolerance. This information, in turn will help to design efficient phytoextraction treatment systems through deployment of such competent plants.


Arsenic Chromium Phytoremediation Oxidative stress Antioxidant enzyme 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Biotechnology DivisionNational Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI)NagpurIndia

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