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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010059

Arsenic Uptake, Toxicity, Detoxification, and Speciation in Plants: Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular Aspects

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Vehari-61100, Pakistan
2
Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan
3
MARUM and Department of Geosciences, University of Bremen, D-28359 Bremen, Germany
4
Southern Cross GeoScience, Southern Cross University, Lismore 2480, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 30 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Abstract

Environmental contamination with arsenic (As) is a global environmental, agricultural and health issue due to the highly toxic and carcinogenic nature of As. Exposure of plants to As, even at very low concentration, can cause many morphological, physiological, and biochemical changes. The recent research on As in the soil-plant system indicates that As toxicity to plants varies with its speciation in plants (e.g., arsenite, As(III); arsenate, As(V)), with the type of plant species, and with other soil factors controlling As accumulation in plants. Various plant species have different mechanisms of As(III) or As(V) uptake, toxicity, and detoxification. This review briefly describes the sources and global extent of As contamination and As speciation in soil. We discuss different mechanisms responsible for As(III) and As(V) uptake, toxicity, and detoxification in plants, at physiological, biochemical, and molecular levels. This review highlights the importance of the As-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as well as their damaging impacts on plants at biochemical, genetic, and molecular levels. The role of different enzymatic (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, and ascorbate peroxidase) and non-enzymatic (salicylic acid, proline, phytochelatins, glutathione, nitric oxide, and phosphorous) substances under As(III/V) stress have been delineated via conceptual models showing As translocation and toxicity pathways in plant species. Significantly, this review addresses the current, albeit partially understood, emerging aspects on (i) As-induced physiological, biochemical, and genotoxic mechanisms and responses in plants and (ii) the roles of different molecules in modulation of As-induced toxicities in plants. We also provide insight on some important research gaps that need to be filled to advance our scientific understanding in this area of research on As in soil-plant systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenic contamination; bioavailability; potentially toxic elements; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; phosphate; plant health arsenic contamination; bioavailability; potentially toxic elements; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; phosphate; plant health
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Abbas, G.; Murtaza, B.; Bibi, I.; Shahid, M.; Niazi, N.K.; Khan, M.I.; Amjad, M.; Hussain, M.; Natasha. Arsenic Uptake, Toxicity, Detoxification, and Speciation in Plants: Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular Aspects. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 59.

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