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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.5/4410

Title: Characterization of plant antioxidative system in response to abiotic stresses: a focus on heavy metal toxicity
Authors: Mourato, Miguel
Reis, Rafaela
Martins, Maria Luísa Louro
Keywords: plant
abiotic stresses
heavy metal
toxicity
Issue Date: Apr-2012
Publisher: InTech
Citation: Mourato, Miguel; Reis, Rafaela; Martins, Maria Luísa Louro - Characterization of plant antioxidative system in response to abiotic stresses: a focus on heavy metal toxicity. In Montanaro, G,; Dichio, B. - Advances in selected plant physiology aspects. InTech, April 2012. ISBN 978-953-51-0557. 388 p.
Abstract: During their life span, plants can be subjected to a number of abiotic stresses, like drought, temperature (both high and low), radiation, salinity, soil pH, heavy metals, lack of essential nutrients, air pollutants, etc. When affected by one, or a combination of abiotic stresses, a response is induced by changes in the plant metabolism, growth and general development. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are a natural consequence of the aerobic metabolism, and plants have mechanisms to deal with them in normal conditions, controlling the formation and removal rates. Under stress conditions, cell homeostasis is disrupted and ROS production can increase a lot putting a heavy burden on the those antioxidative mechanisms, some of which are activated in order to eliminate the excess ROS (Mittler et al., 2004). Trace element contamination cause abiotic stress in plants and it can affect crop production and quality. Certain metals, like copper, are essential for plants, but at high concentrations (depending on plant species) can be considered toxic. Other elements like cadmium and arsenic (a metalloid), while not essential elements for plants, are widespread pollutants that are present in nature due to both natural and manmade activities. Plants have developed different strategies to cope with these stresses. Some use an avoidance strategy to reduce trace element assimilation while others use internal defence mechanisms to cope with the increasing levels of the toxic species. Phytotoxic amounts of trace elements are known to affect several physiological processes and can cause oxidative stress. Plants have developed several trace element defence mechanisms, that allow them to grow despite the presence of variable concentrations of trace elements, but the threshold concentrations as well as the different response mechanisms strongly depend on plant species and on the type of metal. Metal toxicity can cause a redox imbalance and induce the increase of ROS concentration, activating the antioxidant defence mechanisms of plants (Sharma & Dietz, 2009). These mechanisms are very dependent on the metal and the plant but usually include the involvement of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle enzymes which is a major antioxidative defence mechanism, and of other antioxidant enzymes like catalase, peroxidases, and superoxide dismutase. Other non-enzymatic substances with reported antioxidant properties can also be involved in plant defence mechanisms, like ascorbate, glutathione, alkaloids, phenolic compounds, non-proteic amino-acids and carotenoids
Peer Reviewed: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10400.5/4410
Appears in Collections:DCEB - Livros e Capítulos de livros

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