Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2013, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (3): 303-312.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1259.2013.00303

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Cu2+ Induced Local Toxicity and DNA Damage, Cell Death in Roots of Arabidopsis thaliana

Zhiqin Wei1,2†, Zhiyong Chen2†, Rong Qin2, Yutao Wang2, Shaoshan Li2*   

  1. 1School of Life Sciences, Zunyi Normal College, Zunyi 563002, China;

    2Key Laboratory of Ecology and Environmental Science in Guangdong Higher Education, School of Life Sciences, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2013-02-01 Revised:2013-04-12 Online:2013-05-01 Published:2013-06-21
  • Contact: Shaoshan Li
  • Supported by:


Abstract: We investigated the effect of different Cu2+ concentrations in the root medium on root growth, reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, antioxidative response, DNA damage, plasma membrane integrity and cell viability in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana, and the toxicity range was explored with split-root technique. Primary root length was significantly inhibited. Cu2+ enhanced the activities of antioxidant enzymes, induced ROS accumulation and DNA damage, and reduced plasma membrane integrity. Cell death was significantly increased with increased concentration of Cu2+. ROS accumulation was significantly and positively correlated with the activities of total superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase and ascorbate peroxidase. ROS accumulation increased linearly with DNA damage, plasma membrane integrity and cell viability. In the split-root experiment, root growth was inhibited in culture medium supplemented with 75 μmol·L–1 Cu2+; however, roots were not inhibited in medium without supplementary Cu2+. ROS accumulation and cell death took place in only half the dish, so Cu2+ toxicity was local, not systemic. Local ROS accumulation in roots likely mediates the cell death caused by Cu2+ stress.