Metal (Loid)s Tolerance in Plants

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Physiology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 8629

Special Issue Editors

Department of Plant Biology, ‘Environmental Analytical Chemistry’ Group, University of Sevilla, Av. Reina Mercedes s/n, 41012 Seville, Spain
Interests: plant response to abiotic stress; plant resistance/tolerance to heavy metals; phytoremediation; plant-soil relationships
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food (LEAF), Research Center, Associated Laboratory TERRA, Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: phytoremediation of contaminated sites; potential hazardous elements in soil/plant systems; in situ remediation low cost techniques for mine wastes/degraded soils recovery by using Technosols and tolerant plants (spontaneous and non-accumulator edible plants)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants can be affected by metal(loid)s excess due to environmental contaminants (in soil, water, or air), which may limit their establishment and growth. The increase in pollution may affect plants in natural, agricultural, and urban environments. In addition, the use of plants from contaminated sites for food or feed may cause problems to human health. The effects of metalloids on vegetation and crops have attracted scientific attention and stimulated significant research work. In the last years, many articles have been published on plant responses to metal exposure, from tolerance strategies, like avoidance or compartmentation, to the role of chelating substances and other interfering chemical elements (e.g., Si) in modulating plants’ reaction to excess metals.

Despite the great amount of information, there are still open questions and challenges in this fascinating field. For example, the regulation of gene expression in response to metal and metalloids is a subject of intense research. On the other hand, understanding the survival strategies of plants in heavily contaminated environments can provide interesting clues for species conservation. What biochemical and physiological mechanims are used by plants to control the level of potentially toxic elements?

This Special Issue welcomes articles that focus on different mechanisms of plant tolerance or resistance to metal(loid)s and their implications.

Prof. Dr. Sabina Rossini Oliva
Prof. Dr. Maria Manuela Abreu
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • potential toxic elements
  • homeostasis
  • metal tolerance
  • phytoremediation

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 19828 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Cistus salviifolius L. to Phytostabilize Gossan Mine Wastes Amended with Ash and Organic Residues
Plants 2022, 11(5), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11050588 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
The São Domingos mine is within the Iberian Pyrite Belt, a mining district with large concentrations of polymetallic massive sulfide deposits. Mine waste heaps are considered extreme environments, since they contain high total concentrations of potentially hazardous elements (PHE), which contribute to inhibiting [...] Read more.
The São Domingos mine is within the Iberian Pyrite Belt, a mining district with large concentrations of polymetallic massive sulfide deposits. Mine waste heaps are considered extreme environments, since they contain high total concentrations of potentially hazardous elements (PHE), which contribute to inhibiting the development of most plants. Autochthonous plant species, such as Cistus salviifolius L., are able to grow naturally in this degraded environment, and may contribute to minimizing the negative chemical impacts and improving the landscape quality. However, the environmental rehabilitation processes associated with the development of these plants (phytostabilization) are very slow, so the use of materials/wastes to improve some physicochemical properties of the matrix is necessary in order to speed up the process. This work studied the effectiveness of the phytostabilization with C. salviifolius of gossan mine wastes from the mine of São Domingos amended with organic and inorganic wastes in order to construct Technosols. The mine wastes have an acid pH (≈3.5), high total concentrations of PHE and low concentrations of organic C and available nutrients. The best vegetative development occurred without visible signs of toxicity in the Technosols containing a mixture of agriculture residues. These treatments allowed the improvement of the soil-plant system providing a better plant cover and improved several chemical properties of mine wastes, helping to speed up the environmental rehabilitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal (Loid)s Tolerance in Plants)
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17 pages, 2879 KiB  
Article
Influence of Seed Source and Soil Contamination on Ecophysiological Responses of Lavandula pedunculata in Rehabilitation of Mining Areas
Plants 2022, 11(1), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11010105 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1201
Abstract
Mining activities have turned many areas of the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) into extreme environments with high concentrations of metal(loid)s. These harsh conditions can inhibit or reduce the colonization and/or development of most vegetation. However, some species or populations have developed ecophysiological responses [...] Read more.
Mining activities have turned many areas of the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) into extreme environments with high concentrations of metal(loid)s. These harsh conditions can inhibit or reduce the colonization and/or development of most vegetation. However, some species or populations have developed ecophysiological responses to tolerate stress factors and contaminated soils. The main objectives of this study are: (i) to assess the differences in germination, growth, development and physiological behaviour against oxidative stress caused by metal(loid)s in Lavandula pedunculata (Mill.) Cav. from two different origins (a contaminated area in São Domingos mine, SE of Portugal and an uncontaminated area from Serra do Caldeirão, S of Portugal) under controlled conditions; and (ii) to assess whether it is possible to use this species for the rehabilitation of mine areas of the IPB. After germination, seedlings from São Domingos (LC) and Caldeirão (L) were planted in pots with a contaminated soil developed on gossan (CS) and in pots with an uncontaminated soil (US) under controlled conditions. Multielemental concentrations were determined in soils (total and available fractions) and plants (shoots and roots). Germination rate, shoot height, dry biomass and leaf area were determined, and pigments, glutathione, ascorbate and H2O2 contents were measured in plant shoots. Total concentrations of As, Cr, Cu, Pb and Sb in CS, and As in US exceed the intervention and maximum limits for ecosystem protection and human health. The main results showed that L. pedunculata, regardless of the seed origin, activated defence mechanisms against oxidative stress caused by high concentrations of metal(loid)s. Plants grown from seeds of both origins increased the production of AsA to preserve its reduction levels and kept the contents of GSH stable to maintain the cell’s redox state. Plants grown from seeds collected in non-contaminated areas showed a high capacity for adaptation to extreme conditions. This species showed a greater growth capacity when seeds from a contaminated area were sown in uncontaminated soils. Thus, L. pedunculata, mainly grown from seeds from contaminated areas, may be used in phytostabilization programmes in areas with soils with high contents of metal(loid)s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal (Loid)s Tolerance in Plants)
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19 pages, 2278 KiB  
Article
Arsenic Toxicity-Induced Physiological and Metabolic Changes in the Shoots of Pteris cretica and Spinacia oleracea
Plants 2021, 10(10), 2009; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10102009 - 25 Sep 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 3609
Abstract
Arsenic is a ubiquitous toxic element that can be accumulated into plant parts. The present study investigated the response of Pteris cretica and Spinacia oleracea to As treatment through the analysis of selected physiological and metabolic parameters. Plants were grown in pots in [...] Read more.
Arsenic is a ubiquitous toxic element that can be accumulated into plant parts. The present study investigated the response of Pteris cretica and Spinacia oleracea to As treatment through the analysis of selected physiological and metabolic parameters. Plants were grown in pots in As(V) spiked soil (20 and 100 mg/kg). Plants’ physiological condition was estimated through the determination of elements, gas-exchange parameters, chlorophyll fluorescence, water potential, photosynthetic pigments, and free amino acid content. The results confirmed differing As accumulation in plants, as well as in shoots and roots, which indicated that P. cretica is an As-hyperaccumulator and that S. oleracea is an As-root excluder. Variations in physiological and metabolic parameters were observed among As treatments. Overall, the results revealed a significant effect of 100 mg/kg As treatment on the analysed parameters. In both plants, this treatment affected growth, N, Mg, S, Mn, and Zn content, as well as net photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll fluorescence, and total free amino acid content. In conclusion, the results reflect the similarity between P. cretica and S. oleracea in some aspects of plants’ response to As treatment, while physiological and metabolic parameter changes related to As treatments indicate the higher sensitivity of S. oleracea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal (Loid)s Tolerance in Plants)
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11 pages, 1929 KiB  
Article
Tissue Distribution and Biochemical Changes in Response to Copper Accumulation in Erica australis L.
Plants 2021, 10(7), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10071428 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1513
Abstract
Copper uptake, accumulation in different tissues and organs and biochemical and physiological parameters were studied in Erica australis treated with different Cu concentrations (1, 50, 100 and 200 µM) under hydroponic culture. Copper treatments led to a significant reduction in growth rate, biomass [...] Read more.
Copper uptake, accumulation in different tissues and organs and biochemical and physiological parameters were studied in Erica australis treated with different Cu concentrations (1, 50, 100 and 200 µM) under hydroponic culture. Copper treatments led to a significant reduction in growth rate, biomass production and water content in shoots, while photosynthetic pigments did not change. Copper treatments led to an increase in catalase and peroxidase activities. Copper accumulation followed the pattern roots > stems ≥ leaves, being roots the prevalent Cu sink. Analysis by scanning electron microscopy coupled with elemental X-ray analysis (SEM–EDX) showed a uniform Cu distribution in root tissues. On the contrary, in leaf tissues, Cu showed preferential storage in abaxial trichomes, suggesting a mechanism of compartmentation to restrict accumulation in mesophyll cells. The results show that the studied species act as a Cu-excluder, and Cu toxicity was avoided to a certain extent by root immobilization, leaf tissue compartmentation and induction of antioxidant enzymes to prevent cell damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal (Loid)s Tolerance in Plants)
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