Study of oxidative stress related responses induced in Arabidopsis thaliana following mixed exposure to uranium and cadmium

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Toxicity effects in plants of uranium in a binary pollution condition were investigated by studying biological responses and unraveling oxidative stress related mechanisms in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, grown on hydroponics and exposed for 3 days to 10 µM uranium in combination with 5 µM cadmium. While uranium mostly accumulated in the roots with very low root-to-shoot transport, cadmium was taken up less by the roots but showed higher translocation to the shoots. Cadmium influenced uranium uptake highly but not the other way round resulting in a doubled uranium concentration in the roots. Under mixed exposure conditions, it is clear that micronutrient concentrations in the roots are strongly influenced by addition of cadmium as a second stressor, while leaf macronutrient concentrations are mostly influenced by uranium. Oxidative stress related responses are highly affected by cadmium while uranium influence is more limited. An important role was attributed to the ascorbate redox balance together with glutathione as both metabolites increased their reduced form, indicating an important defense and regulatory function. While for roots, based on an increase in FSD1 gene expression, oxidative stress was suggested to be superoxide induced, in leaves on the other hand, hydrogen peroxide related genes were mostly altered.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-886
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number10-11
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Arabidopsis thaliana, binary mixture, cadmium, gene expression, oxidative stress, uranium

ID: 181280