Metal trace elements (MTE) can damage crops if present in excessive amounts in the environment. This research investigated the effect of a plant extract of an aquatic species, Lemna minor L. (duckweed) (LE), on the ability of maize to cope with copper (Cu) toxicity. LE reversed the effects of Cu2+ on photosynthetic activity (Pn), evapotranspiration (E), stomatal conductance (gs), sub-stomatal CO2 concentration (Ci) and biomass which did not differ from the untreated controls. LE did not regulate the amount of copper in maize leaves, but compared to Cu-treated samples, the extract decreased the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; −26% on average) and malondialdehyde (MDA; −47% on average) content, regardless of the dosage applied. Furthermore, the activity of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and catalase (CAT) was significantly increased by LE compared to samples treated with Cu alone. Untargeted metabolomic profiling revealed that LE activated maize secondary metabolism, eliciting the content of non-enzymatic antioxidants (flavonoids, glutathione and glutathione-related compounds, tocopherols and tocotrienols) and modulating plant stress-related hormones (brassinosteroids and ABA derivatives). The results of this study are promising and pave the way for using duckweed as a biostimulant to trigger beneficial effects in maize and increase its resistance to MTEs.

Biochemical Insights into the Ability of Lemna minor L. Extract to Counteract Copper Toxicity in Maize

Regni L.;Tolisano C.;Proietti P.;Trevisan M.;Del Buono D.
2022

Abstract

Metal trace elements (MTE) can damage crops if present in excessive amounts in the environment. This research investigated the effect of a plant extract of an aquatic species, Lemna minor L. (duckweed) (LE), on the ability of maize to cope with copper (Cu) toxicity. LE reversed the effects of Cu2+ on photosynthetic activity (Pn), evapotranspiration (E), stomatal conductance (gs), sub-stomatal CO2 concentration (Ci) and biomass which did not differ from the untreated controls. LE did not regulate the amount of copper in maize leaves, but compared to Cu-treated samples, the extract decreased the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; −26% on average) and malondialdehyde (MDA; −47% on average) content, regardless of the dosage applied. Furthermore, the activity of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and catalase (CAT) was significantly increased by LE compared to samples treated with Cu alone. Untargeted metabolomic profiling revealed that LE activated maize secondary metabolism, eliciting the content of non-enzymatic antioxidants (flavonoids, glutathione and glutathione-related compounds, tocopherols and tocotrienols) and modulating plant stress-related hormones (brassinosteroids and ABA derivatives). The results of this study are promising and pave the way for using duckweed as a biostimulant to trigger beneficial effects in maize and increase its resistance to MTEs.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1535533
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