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Application of ferrous sulfate alleviates negative impact of cadmium in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

JAVARIA AFZAL1,2,#, XIUKANG WANG3,*, MUHAMMAD HAMZAH SALEEM4,#, XUECHENG SUN1, SHAHID HUSSAIN5, IMRAN KHAN6, MUHAMMAD SHOAIB RANA1, SHAKEEL AHMED7, SAMRAH AFZAL AWAN6, SAJID FIAZ8, OMAR AZIZ9, KASHIF ALI KUBAR10, SHAFAQAT ALI11,12, CHENGXIAO HU1,*

1 Key Laboratory of Arable Land Conservation (Middle and Lower Reaches of Yangtze River), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China
2 Department of Soil Science, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, 70060, Pakistan
3 College of Life Sciences, Yan’an University, Yan’an, 716000, China
4 College of Plant Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China
5 Schools of Materials Science and Engineering, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, 212013, China
6 Department of Grassland Science, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, 611130, China
7 Instituto de Farmacia, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, 5110566, Chile
8 Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, The University of Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 22620, Pakistan
9 Department of Soil & Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Sub-Campus Depalpur, Okara, Pakistan
10 Faculty of Agriculture, Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences, Uthal, 90150, Pakistan
11 Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan
12 Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan

* Corresponding Authors: XIUKANG WANG. Email: email; CHENGXIAO HU. Email: email

BIOCELL 2021, 45(6), 1631-1649. https://doi.org/10.32604/biocell.2021.014934

Abstract

Soil contamination with toxic heavy metals [such as cadmium (Cd)] is becoming a serious global problem due to rapid development of social economy. Iron (Fe), being an important element, has been found effective in enhancing plant tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses. The present study investigated the extent to which different levels of Ferrous sulphate (FeSO4) modulated the Cd tolerance of rice (Oryza sativa L.), when maintained in artificially Cd spiked regimes. A pot experiment was conducted under controlled conditions for 146 days, by using natural soil, mixed with different levels of CdCl2 [0 (no Cd), 0.5 and 1 mg/kg] together with the exogenous application of FeSO4 at [0 (no Fe), 1.5 and 3 mg/kg] levels to monitor different growth, gaseous exchange characteristics, oxidative stress, antioxidative responses, minerals accumulation, organic acid exudation patterns of O. sativa. Our results depicted that addition of Cd to the soil significantly (P < 0.05) decreased plant growth and biomass, gaseous exchange parameters, mineral uptake by the plants, sugars (soluble, reducing, and non-reducing sugar) and altered the ultrastructure of chloroplasts, plastoglobuli, mitochondria, and many other cellular organelles in Cd-stressed O. sativa compared to those plants which were grown without the addition of Cd in the soil. However, Cd toxicity boosted the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by increasing the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA), which is the indication of oxidative stress in O. sativa and was also manifested by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) contents and electrolyte leakage to the membrane bounded organelles. Although, activities of various antioxidative enzymes like superoxidase dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and non-enzymatic antioxidants like phenolics, flavonoid, ascorbic acid, anthocyanin and proline contents increased up to a Cd level of 0.5 mg/kg in the soil but were significantly diminished at the highest Cd level of 1 mg/kg in the soil compared to those plants which were grown without the addition of Cd in the soil. The negative impacts of Cd injury were reduced by the application of FeSO4 which increased plant growth and biomass, improved photosynthetic apparatus, antioxidant enzymes, minerals uptake together with diminished exudation of organic acids as well as oxidative stress indicators in roots and shoots of O. sativa by decreasing Cd retention in different plant parts. These results shed light on the effectiveness of FeSO4 in improving the growth and upregulation of antioxidant enzyme activities of O. sativa in response to Cd stress. However, further studies at field levels are required to explore the mechanisms of FeSO4-mediated reduction of the toxicity of not only Cd, but possibly also other heavy metals in plants.

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AFZAL, J., WANG, X., SALEEM, M. H., SUN, X., HUSSAIN, S. et al. (2021). Application of ferrous sulfate alleviates negative impact of cadmium in rice (Oryza sativa L.). BIOCELL, 45(6), 1631–1649.

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