Effects of pH on uranium uptake and oxidative stress responses induced in Arabidopsis thaliana
Van Hees, May
Uranium (U) causes oxidative stress in Arabidopsis thaliana plants grown at pH 5.5. However, U speciation and its toxicity strongly depend on environmental parameters, for example pH. It is unknown how different U species determine U uptake and translocation within plants and how they might affect the oxidative defense mechanisms of these plants. The present study analyzed U uptake and oxidative stress-related responses in A. thaliana (Columbia ecotype) under contrasted U chemical speciation conditions. The 18-d-old seedlings were exposed for 3 d to 25 µM U in a nutrient solution of which the pH was adjusted to 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, or 7.5. Results indicate that there is a different rate of U uptake and translocation at the different pHs, with high uptake and low translocation at low pH and lower uptake but higher translocation at high pH. After U exposure, an increased glutathione reductase activity and total glutathione concentration were observed in U-exposed roots, pointing toward an important role for glutathione in the root defense system against U either by chelation or by antioxidative defense mechanisms. In leaves, antioxidative defense mechanisms were activated on U exposure, indicated by increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activity. As it seems that U toxicity is influenced by pH, it is important to consider site-specific characteristics when making U risk assessments. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:2125–2133. © 2013 SETAC
This work was supported by a PhD grant for E. Saenenfrom the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN).
uranium; arabidopsis thaliana; oxidative stress; pH