Environmental health and toxicology

Expression of sulfur uptake assimilation-related genes in response to cadmium, bensulfuron-methyl and their co-contamination in rice roots

Jian Zhou , Zegang Wang , Zhiwei Huang , Chao Lu , Zhuo Han , Jianfeng Zhang , Huimin Jiang , Cailin Ge , Juncheng Yang


Received April 22, 2013,Revised June 14, 2013, Accepted , Available online March 04, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 650-661

The responses of sulfur (S) uptake assimilation-related genes' expression in roots of two rice cultivars to cadmium (Cd), bensulfuron-methyl (BSM) and their co-contamination (Cd+BSM) were investigated by gene-chip microarray analysis and quantitative real-time PCR (QRT-PCR) technology. Treatments of Cd and Cd+BSM induced expression of sulfate transporter and permease genes, and promoted sulfate uptake in rice roots. Cd+BSM could alleviate Cd toxicity to cv. Fengmeizhan seedlings, probably due to Cd+BSM promoting greater S absorption by seedlings. Cd and Cd+BSM induced expression of sulfate assimilation-related genes, and thus activated the sulfur assimilation pathway. Cd and Cd+BSM induced expression of phytochelatin synthase and metallothionein genes, and induced expression of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), glutathione synthase (GS) and S-containing antioxidation enzyme genes, which detoxified Cd2+. It is suggested that (to cope with the toxicity of Cd, BSM and their co-contamination) the S uptake and assimilation pathway was activated in rice roots by increased expression of related genes, thus enhancing the supply of organic S for synthesis of Cd or BSM resistance-related substances.

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