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Reveal the response of enzyme activities to heavy metals through in situ zymography

Duan, Chengjiao, Fang, Linchuan, Yang, Congli, Chen, Weibin, Cui, Yongxing, Li, Shiqing
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2018 v.156 pp. 106-115
alfalfa, beta-glucosidase, biomass, catalase, chlorophyll, enzyme activity, heavy metals, malondialdehyde, rhizosphere, roots, seedlings, soil, soil enzymes, soil pollution
Enzymes in the soil are vital for assessing heavy metal soil pollution. Although the presence of heavy metals is thought to change the soil enzyme system, the distribution of enzyme activities in heavy metal polluted-soil is still unknown. For the first time, using soil zymography, we analyzed the distribution of enzyme activities of alfalfa rhizosphere and soil surface in the metal-contaminated soil. The results showed that the growth of alfalfa was significantly inhibited, and an impact that was most pronounced in seedling biomass and chlorophyll content. Catalase activity (CAT) in alfalfa decreased with increasing heavy metal concentrations, while malondialdehyde (MDA) content continually increased. The distribution of enzyme activities showed that both phosphatase and β-glucosidase activities were associated with the roots and were rarely distributed throughout the soil. In addition, the total hotspot areas of enzyme activities were the highest in extremely heavy pollution soil. The hotspot areas of phosphatase were 3.4%, 1.5% and 7.1% under none, moderate and extremely heavy pollution treatment, respectively, but increased from 0.1% to 0.9% for β-glucosidase with the increasing pollution levels. Compared with the traditional method of enzyme activities, zymography can directly and accurately reflect the distribution and extent of enzyme activity in heavy metals polluted soil. The results provide an efficient research method for exploring the interaction between enzyme activities and plant rhizosphere.