An actinomycete strain of Nocardiopsis lucentensis reduces arsenic toxicity in barley and maize

AbdElgawad, Hamada, Gaurav Zinta, Walid Abuelsoud, Yasser M. Hassan, DalalHussien M. Alkhalifah, Wael N. Hozzein, Rafat Zrieq, Gerrit T. S. Beemster, and Sébastjen Schoenaers. "An actinomycete strain of Nocardiopsis lucentensis reduces arsenic toxicity in barley and maize." 417 (2021): 126055.


Accumulation of arsenic in plant tissues poses a substantial threat to global crop yields. The use of plant growth-promoting bacterial strains to mitigate heavy metal toxicity has been illustrated before. However, its potential to reduce plant arsenic uptake and toxicity has not been investigated to date. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of a Nocardiopsis lucentensis strain isolated from heavy metal contaminated soil. Inoculation with this bioactive actinomycete strain decreased arsenic root and shoot bioaccumulation in both C3 and C4 crop species namely barley and maize. Upon arsenate treatment, N. lucentensis S5 stimulated root citric acid production and the plant’s innate detoxification capacity in a species-specific manner. In addition, this specific strain promoted biomass gain, despite substantial tissue arsenic levels. Detoxification (metallothionein, phytochelatin, glutathione-S-transferase levels) was upregulated in arsenate-exposed shoot and roots, and this response was further enhanced upon S5 supplementation, particularly in barley and maize roots. Compared to barley, maize plants were more tolerant to arsenate-induced oxidative stress (less H2O2 and lipid peroxidation levels). However, barley plants invested more in antioxidative capacity induction (ascorbate-glutathione turnover) to mitigate arsenic oxidative stress, which was strongly enhanced by S5. We quantify and mechanistically discuss the physiological and biochemical basis of N. lucentensis-mediated plant biomass recovery on arsenate polluted soils. Our findings substantiate the potential applicability of a bactoremediation strategy to mitigate arsenic-induced yield loss in crops.



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