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Selenium-oxidizing Agrobacterium sp. T3F4 decreases arsenic uptake by Brassica rapa L. under a native polluted soil

Shixue Zheng , Lijin An , Chunzhi Zhou , Lipeng Zhao , Ao Wei , Yiting Wang , Huimin Cui


Received February 12, 2023,Revised , Accepted April 18, 2023, Available online April 26, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 506-515

Toxic arsenic (As) and trace element selenium (Se) are transformed by microorganisms but their complex interactions in soil-plant systems have not been fully understood. An As- and Se- oxidizing bacterium, Agrobacterium sp. T3F4, was applied to a native seleniferous As-polluted soil to investigate As/Se uptake by the vegetable Brassica rapa L. and As-Se interaction as mediated by strain T3F4. The Se content in the aboveground plants was significantly enhanced by 34.1%, but the As content was significantly decreased by 20.5% in the T3F4-inoculated pot culture compared to the control (P < 0.05). Similar result was shown in treatment with additional 5 mg/kg of Se(IV) in soil. In addition, the As contents in roots were significantly decreased by more than 35% under T3F4 or Se(IV) treatments (P<0.05). Analysis of As-Se-bacterium interaction in a soil simulation experiment showed that the bioavailability of Se significantly increased and As was immobilized with the addition of the T3F4 strain (P < 0.05). Furthermore, an As/Se co-exposure hydroponic experiment demonstrated that As uptake and accumulation in plants was reduced by increasing Se(IV) concentrations. The 50% growth inhibition concentration (IC50) values for As in plants were increased about one-fold and two-fold under co-exposure with 5 and 10 µmol/L Se(IV), respectively. In conclusion, strain T3F4 improves Se uptake but decreases As uptake by plants via oxidation of As and Se, resulting in decrease of soil As bioavailability and As/Se competitive absorption by plants. This provides a potential bioremediation strategy for Se biofortification and As immobilization in As-polluted soil.

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