Heavy Metal-Induced Oxidative Stress In Plants: Response Of The Antioxidative System
Ivna Štolfa, T. Ž. Pfeiffer, Dubravka Špoljarić, T. Teklić, Z. Lončarić
Published 2015 · Chemistry
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Heavy metals (HMs) are among the most important environmental pollutants, particularly in areas with strong anthropogenic pressure. For plants, high levels of HMs are extremely toxic since they may act in several different modes: by the direct inhibition of plant growth and biosynthetic pathways or through the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Certain metals generate ROS due to their involvement in redox reactions like Fenton and/or Haber–Weiss reactions, while metals without redox capacity enhance ROS production by reducing the antioxidant glutathione pool, activating calcium-dependent systems and influencing iron-mediated processes. ROS production affects lipids, proteins, and DNA and consequently leads to cell death. In response, plants are equipped with complex enzymatic and nonenzymatic mechanisms involved in antioxidative defense to neutralize HM toxicity, and the main components of these mechanisms will be reviewed in this chapter.
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