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Mechanisms of Arsenic Tolerance and Detoxification in Plants and their Application in Transgenic Technology: A Critical Appraisal

Srivastava, Sudhakar, Suprasanna, Penna, D’Souza, S. F.
International journal of phytoremediation 2012 v.14 no.5 pp. 506-517
Magnoliophyta, arsenic, cultivars, ferns and fern allies, humans, hyperaccumulators, pollution, rice, transgenic plants
Arsenic (As) contamination of the environment has emerged as a serious problem. Consequently, there is an urge to understand plants’ responses to As. The analysis of various hypertolerant and hyperaccumulator plants and comparison of their responses with non-tolerant and nonaccumulators have provided valuable information about the mechanisms of As tolerance and detoxification. Therefore, we understand why most of the pteridophytes are able to hyperacumulate As, why it is difficult to find hyperaccumulators among angiosperms and why rice is able to translocate As to its grains more efficiently than any other cereal crop. This information can be employed to generate As hyperaccumulators in angiosperms and to develop safe cultivars of rice for human consumption through biotechnological approaches. Although measurable success, in terms of application in the field, has so far not been achieved, transgenic research has yielded promising results, which shed light on the approaches to be taken up in future endeavor. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms of As tolerance and detoxification in plants and transgenic research conducted.