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Article

Production of Antioxidant Molecules in Polygonum aviculare (L.) and Senecio vulgaris (L.) under Metal Stress: A Possible Tool in the Evaluation of Plant Metal Tolerance

1
Department of Biological Geological and Environmental Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio 42, 40126 Bologna, Italy
2
Department of Chemistry “G. Ciamician”, University of Bologna, Via Selmi 2, 40126 Bologna, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(19), 7317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197317
Received: 14 August 2020 / Revised: 28 September 2020 / Accepted: 30 September 2020 / Published: 3 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Stress and Plants)
Plants growing on heavy metal (HM)-polluted soils show toxicity symptoms, such as chlorosis and growth reduction, and undergo oxidative stress due to the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Plants overcome oxidative stress by producing a wide range of antioxidant molecules, such as polyphenols and flavonoids. The aim of the present work was to study the accumulation of these molecules in response to increasing concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn and to assess whether they can be used as a tool in assessing metal-related stress in Polygonum aviculare and Senecio vulgaris. On average, P. aviculare shoots accumulated lower amounts of metals than S. vulgaris shoots. The uptake of all six elements was correlated and proportional to their concentration in the nutrient solution (ρ > 0.9), with the bioaccumulation factor (BAF) being >1 for most of them. The present research demonstrated that 82% of the samples showed a good correlation (|ρ| > 0.5) between the level of polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidant activity and the metal concentration in plant shoots, confirming that the metal stress level and production of phenolic compounds having antioxidant activity were strictly connected. Nonetheless, the mere quantification of these molecules cannot identify the type of metal that caused the oxidative stress, neither determine the concentration of the stressors. The five tested populations of each species did not show any specific adaptation to the environment of origin. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metals; oxidative stress; antioxidant activity; polyphenols; flavonoids; photosynthetic pigments; population variability heavy metals; oxidative stress; antioxidant activity; polyphenols; flavonoids; photosynthetic pigments; population variability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salinitro, M.; Hoogerwerf, S.; Casolari, S.; Zappi, A.; Melucci, D.; Tassoni, A. Production of Antioxidant Molecules in Polygonum aviculare (L.) and Senecio vulgaris (L.) under Metal Stress: A Possible Tool in the Evaluation of Plant Metal Tolerance. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 7317. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197317

AMA Style

Salinitro M, Hoogerwerf S, Casolari S, Zappi A, Melucci D, Tassoni A. Production of Antioxidant Molecules in Polygonum aviculare (L.) and Senecio vulgaris (L.) under Metal Stress: A Possible Tool in the Evaluation of Plant Metal Tolerance. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(19):7317. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197317

Chicago/Turabian Style

Salinitro, Mirko, Sara Hoogerwerf, Sonia Casolari, Alessandro Zappi, Dora Melucci, and Annalisa Tassoni. 2020. "Production of Antioxidant Molecules in Polygonum aviculare (L.) and Senecio vulgaris (L.) under Metal Stress: A Possible Tool in the Evaluation of Plant Metal Tolerance" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 19: 7317. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197317

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