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Molecules 2016, 21(10), 1339; doi:10.3390/molecules21101339

Thymol Mitigates Cadmium Stress by Regulating Glutathione Levels and Reactive Oxygen Species Homeostasis in Tobacco Seedlings

1,†
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1,†
,
2,†
,
3
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4
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4
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5,6,* and 5,6,*
1
College of Tobacco Science, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
2
Nanjing Yangzi Modern Agriculture Investment and Development Co. Ltd., Nanjing 211899, China
3
Central Laboratory, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Science, Nanjing 210014, China
4
Department of Food Science, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang 453003, China
5
Institute of Food Quality and Safety, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China
6
Key Laboratory of Food Quality and Safety of Jiangsu Province-State Key Laboratory Breeding Base, Jiangsu Provincial Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Nanjing 210014, China
These authors contribute equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 29 September 2016 / Accepted: 1 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5095 KB, uploaded 14 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

Thymol is a famous plant-derived compound that has been widely used in pharmacy due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. However, the modulation of intrinsic plant physiology by thymol remains unclear. It is a significant challenge to confer plant tolerance to Cd (cadmium) stress. In the present study physiological, histochemical, and biochemical methods were applied to investigate thymol-induced Cd tolerance in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) seedlings. Thymol was able to alleviate Cd-induced growth inhibition of tobacco seedlings in both dose- and time-dependent manners. Both histochemical detection and in-tube assays suggested that thymol treatment blocked Cd-induced over-generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation, and loss of membrane integrity in both leaves and roots. Thymol decreased Cd-induced cell death that was indicated in vivo by propidium iodide (PI) and trypan blue, respectively. Thymol stimulated glutathione (GSH) biosynthesis by upregulating the expression of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase 1 (GSH1) in Cd-treated seedlings, which may contribute to the alleviation of Cd-induced oxidative injury. In situ fluorescent detection of intracellular Cd2+ revealed that thymol significantly decreased free Cd2+ in roots, which could be explained by the thymol-stimulated GSH biosynthesis and upregulation of the expression of phyochelatin synthase 1 (PCS1). Taken together, these results suggested that thymol has great potential to trigger plant resistant responses to combat heavy metal toxicity, which may help our understanding of the mechanism for thymol-modulated cell metabolic pathways in response to environmental stimuli. View Full-Text
Keywords: thymol; reactive oxygen species; cell death; glutathione; cadmium; tobacco thymol; reactive oxygen species; cell death; glutathione; cadmium; tobacco
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ye, X.; Ling, T.; Xue, Y.; Xu, C.; Zhou, W.; Hu, L.; Chen, J.; Shi, Z. Thymol Mitigates Cadmium Stress by Regulating Glutathione Levels and Reactive Oxygen Species Homeostasis in Tobacco Seedlings. Molecules 2016, 21, 1339.

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