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Rhizobial symbiosis alleviates polychlorinated biphenyls-induced systematic oxidative stress via brassinosteroids signaling in alfalfa

Wang, Xiaomi, Teng, Ying, Zhang, Ning, Christie, Peter, Li, Zhengao, Luo, Yongming, Wang, Jun
The Science of the total environment 2017
ascorbate peroxidase, necrosis, lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species, seedlings, signal transduction, polychlorinated biphenyls, alfalfa, roots, oxidative stress, protective effect, gene expression, phytoremediation, photosynthesis, peroxidase, leaves, brassinolide, superoxide dismutase, models, soil, biomass production, antioxidant activity, glutathione-disulfide reductase, catalase, phytotoxicity, symbiosis, Ensifer meliloti
The role of symbiotic rhizobia in the alleviation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-induced phytotoxicity in alfalfa and the brassinosteroid (BR) hormone signaling involved were investigated during phytoremediation. The association between alfalfa and Sinorhizobium meliloti was adopted as a remediation model. Phytotoxicity due to PCB 77 (3,3′,4,4′-tetrachlorobiphenyl) exerted adverse impacts on plant performance (biomass accumulation and photosynthesis) and elicited cellular oxidative stress (overproduction of reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation, and cell necrosis) which was largely attenuated by pre-inoculation with S. meliloti strain NM. The protective role may have been achieved as a result of strengthening of basic antioxidant defense before stress as evidenced by the augmented activity and gene expression of antioxidative enzymes (peroxidase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and ascorbate peroxidase) of both leaves and roots. In nodulated seedlings peroxidase showed additive increased activity following PCB exposure but the activities of the other four enzymes tended to remain stable after stress. Furthermore, application of strain NM and brassinolide both triggered the accumulation of endogenous BRs and the antioxidant network, while pre-treatment of seedlings with a biosynthetic inhibitor of BRs, brassinazole, abolished the rhizobia-induced activation of detoxification responses towards PCB. These observations indicate that association with S. meliloti NM enhanced the systemic antioxidant defenses of alfalfa to detoxify PCB, at least in part, via BR-dependent signaling pathways. These results contribute to our knowledge of the ‘logistic role’ played by rhizobia in assisting the phytoremediation of PCB-contaminated soils and suggest an optimum manipulation strategy for bioremediation.