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Structural modifications of plant organs and tissues by metals and metalloids in the environment: A review

Vaishali Yadav, Namira Arif, Ján Kováč, Vijay Pratap Singh, Durgesh Kumar Tripathi, Devendra Kumar Chauhan, Marek Vaculík
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2021 v.159 pp. 100-112
aluminum, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, crop management, environmental degradation, genomics, growth and development, heavy metals, humans, lead, manganese, mercury, metabolomics, nickel, plant growth, toxicity, zinc
At the dawn of the industrial revolution, the exorbitant use of heavy metals and toxic elements by mankind unfurls a powerful and complex web of hazard all around the world that significantly contributed to unprecedented trends in environmental degradation. Plants as sessile organisms, that cannot escape from the stress directly, have adapted to this environment via concurrent configurations of several traits. Among them the anatomy has been identified as much more advanced field of research that brought the explosion of interest among the expertise and its prodigious importance in stress physiology is unavoidable. In conjunction with various other disciplines, like physiology, biochemistry, genomics and metabolomics, the plant anatomy provides a large data sets that are paving the way towards a comprehensive and holistic understanding of plant growth, development, defense and productivity under heavy metal and toxic element stress. Present paper advances our recent knowledge about structural alterations of plant tissues induced by metals and metalloids, like antimony (Sb), arsenic (As), aluminium (Al), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) and points on essential role of plant anatomy and its understanding for plant growth and development in changing environment. Understanding of anatomical adaptations of various plant organs and tissues to heavy metals and metalloids could greatly contribute to integral and modern approach for investigation of plants in changing environmental conditions. These findings are necessary for understanding of the whole spectra of physiological and biochemical reactions in plants and to maintain the crop productivity worldwide. Moreover, our holistic perception regarding the processes underlying the plant responses to metal(loids) at anatomical level are needed for improving crop management and breeding techniques.