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Biochemical, molecular, and elemental profiling of Withania somnifera L. with response to zinc stress

Rout, Jyoti Ranjan, Kerry, Rout George, Panigrahi, Debasna, Sahoo, Santi Lata, Pradhan, Chinmay, Ram, Shidharth Sankar, Chakraborty, Anindita, Sudarshan, Mathummal
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.4 pp. 4116-4129
Withania somnifera, X-radiation, antioxidants, catalase, genes, homeostasis, liquids, proteins, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, stress tolerance, superoxide dismutase, toxicity, zinc, zinc sulfate
Zn stress seriously induces various toxic responses in Withania somnifera L., when accumulated above the threshold level which was confirmed by investigating the responses of protein, expression of antioxidant enzymes, and elemental profiling on accumulation of Zn. Zn was supplemented in the form of ZnSO₄ (0, 25, 50, 100, and 200 μM) through MS liquid medium and allowed to grow the in vitro germinated plants for 7 and 14 days. The study revealed that when the application of Zn increased, a significant reduction of growth characteristics was noticed with alterations of proteins (both disappearance and de novo synthesis). The activity of CAT, SOD, and GPX were increased up to certain concentrations and then declined, which confirmed through in-gel activity under different treatments. RT-PCR was conducted by taking three sets of genes from CAT (RsCat, Catalase1, Cat1) and SOD (SodCp, TaSOD1.2, MnSOD) and found that gene RsCat from CAT and MnSOD from SOD have shown maximum expression of desired genes under Zn stress, which indicate plant’s stress tolerance mechanisms. The proton-induced X-ray emission study confirmed an increasing order of uptake of Zn in plants by suppressing and expressing other elemental constituents which cause metal homeostasis. This study provides insights into molecular mechanisms associated with Zn causing toxicity to plants; however, cellular and subcellular studies are essential to explore molecule-molecule interaction during Zn stress in plants.