Iron toxicity resistance strategies in tropical grasses: The role of apoplastic radicular barriers

Advanio Inácio Siqueira-Silva , Camilla Oliveira Rios , Eduardo Gusmão Pereira


Received May 25, 2018,Revised , Accepted October 16, 2018, Available online October 26, 2018

Volume 31,2019,Pages 257-266

The revegetation of mined areas poses a great challenge to the iron ore mining industry. The initial recovery process in degraded areas might rely on the use of Fe-resistant grasses. Tropical grasses, such as Paspalum densum and Echinochloa crus-galli, show different resistance strategies to iron toxicity; however, these mechanisms are poorly understood. The Fe-resistance mechanisms and direct iron toxicity as a function of root apex removal were investigated. To achieve this purpose, both grass species were grown for up to 480 hr in a nutrient solution containing 0.019 or 7 mmol/L Fe-EDTA after the root apices had been removed or maintained. Cultivation in the presence of excess iron-induced leaf bronzing and the formation of iron plaque on the root surfaces of both grass species, but was more significant on those plants whose root apex had been removed. Iron accumulation was higher in the roots, but reached phytotoxic levels in the aerial parts as well. It did not hinder the biosynthesis of chloroplastidic pigments. No significant changes in gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence occurred in either grass when their roots were kept intact; the contrary was true for plants with excised root apices. In both studied grasses, the root apoplastic barriers had an important function in the restriction of iron translocation from the root to the aerial plant parts, especially in E. crus-galli. Root apex removal negatively influenced the iron toxicity resistance mechanisms (tolerance in P. densum and avoidance in E. crus-galli).

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