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Potential of PM-selected components to induce oxidative stress and root system alteration in a plant model organism

Piacentini, Diego, Falasca, Giuseppina, Canepari, Silvia, Massimi, Lorenzo
Environment international 2019
ascorbic acid, bioaccumulation, cell membranes, dithiothreitol, dust, lipid peroxidation, models, nitric oxide, nitrogen, oxidative stress, oxygen, principal component analysis, root systems, roots, seedlings, shoots, soil, superoxide anion, toxicology
Over the last years, various acellular assays have been used for the evaluation of the oxidative potential (OP) of particular matter (PM) to predict PM capacity to generate reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species in biological systems. However, relationships among OP and PM toxicological effects on living organisms are still largely unknown. This study aims to assess the effects of atmospheric PM-selected components (brake dust - BD, pellet ash - PA, road dust - RD, certified urban dust NIST1648a - NIST, soil dust - S, coke dust - C and Saharan dust - SD) on the model plant A. thaliana development, with emphasis on their capacity to induce oxidative stress and root morphology alteration. Before growing A. thaliana in the presence of the PM-selected components, each atmospheric dust has been chemically characterized and tested for the OP through dithiothreitol (DTT), ascorbic acid (AA) and 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin (DCFH) assays. After the exposure, element bioaccumulation in the A. thaliana seedlings, i.e., in roots and shoots, was determined and both morphological and oxidative stress analyses were performed in roots. The results indicated that, except for SD and S, all the tested dusts affected A. thaliana root system morphology, with the strongest effects in the presence of the highest OPs dusts (BD, PA and NIST). Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed correlations among OPs of the dusts, element bioaccumulation and root morphology alteration, identifying the most responsible dust-associated elements affecting the plant. Lastly, histochemical analyses of NO and O2− content and distribution confirmed that BD, PA and NIST induce oxidative stress in A. thaliana, reflecting the high OPs of these dusts and ultimately leading to cell membrane lipid peroxidation.