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2014 | 36 | 03 |

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Trivalent chromium pretreatment alleviates the toxicity of oxidative damage in wheat plants exposed to hexavalent chromium


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Treating plants with abiotic or biotic factors can lead to the establishment of a unique primed state of defense. Primed plants display enhanced defense reactions upon further challenge with environmental stressors. Here, we report that trivalent chromium (Cr(III)) pretreatment can alleviate hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) toxicity in 2-week-old wheat plants. The data indicate that Cr(III)- pretreated wheat displayed longer survival times and less heavy metal toxicity symptoms under Cr(VI) exposure than the control. To investigate the possible mechanism from an antioxidant defense perspective, we determined the H₂O₂ and lipid peroxide content (TBARS), the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, APX and GR) and the antioxidant metabolite content (ascorbate and glutathione content, AsA/DHA and GSH/GSSG ratios) in pretreated wheat roots. The results showed that 0.5 μM Cr(III) pretreatment can alleviate oxidative damage, such as H₂O₂ and TBARS accumulation, in root tissues compared to the control during the first 3 days of Cr(VI) exposure. Furthermore, we determined that this pretreatment can significantly increase the antioxidant enzyme activities and total ascorbate and glutathione contents compared to the control treatment. In addition, redox homeostasis declined slightly in pretreated wheat compared to the control in the presence of Cr(VI). We discuss a possible mechanism for Cr(III)-mediated protection of wheat.

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  • Plant Growth and Defense Signaling Laboratory, Department of Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang Road, Nanjing, 210095, China
  • Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, 210037, China
  • Plant Growth and Defense Signaling Laboratory, Department of Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang Road, Nanjing, 210095, China
  • Plant Growth and Defense Signaling Laboratory, Department of Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang Road, Nanjing, 210095, China
  • Department of Life Science, Harbin Normal University, Harbin, 150025, China
  • Plant Growth and Defense Signaling Laboratory, Department of Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang Road, Nanjing, 210095, China
  • Institute of Biology, Hebei Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhaung, 050051, Hebei, China
  • Plant Growth and Defense Signaling Laboratory, Department of Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, 1 Weigang Road, Nanjing, 210095, China


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