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Root responses to localised soil arsenic enrichment in the fern Pityrogramma calomelanos var. austroamericana grown in rhizoboxes

Abstract : The terrestrial fern Pityrogramma calomelanos, a cosmopolitan tropical species, is one of the strongest known arsenic (As) hyperaccumulator plants. This study aimed to determine whether P. calomelanos preferentially forages for arsenite (As3+) or arsenate (As5+) in As-contaminated soils, and whether a positive root response to As enhances accumulation in P. calomelanos. Therefore, an experiment using rhizoboxes divided in two halves were constructed with a control soil (C) and As3+ or As5+ dosed soil at either 50 and 100 μg g-1 As. Micro-X-ray Fluorescence elemental mapping (μXRF) was employed to analyze the distribution of As in roots and fronds, and Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) was used to determine As distribution in the reproductive tissues of P. calomelanos. The results showed that Pityrogramma roots do not specifically forage for As-contaminated soil; the area based on pixel counts was similar across all the treatments with no statistical differences. However, frond biomass was slightly higher in the treatments C ǀ As3+ and C ǀ As5+, and the highest accumulation of As in fronds was in the As5+ ǀ As3+ (100 μg g-1) treatment, with 3418 and 2370 μg g-1 in old and young fronds respectively. Arsenic cycling across the roots was observed by the μXRF mapping; in C ǀ As5+ (100) the As was higher and evenly distributed in both sections, whilst in C ǀ As3+ (50), the As was higher in the As3+ side. The μXRF mapping showed a broader As distribution in older fronds, where As was highest in the rachis and extended into the pinnule through the midrib. Pityrogramma calomelanos does not specifically root forage for As-enriched zones in the soil and grows healthily without signs of toxicity at lower (50 μg g-1) and higher (100 μg g-1) concentrations of As3+ and As5+ in the soil.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 9, 2021 - 3:28:45 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 10, 2021 - 5:49:51 PM

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Amelia Corzo Remigio, Mansour Edraki, Alan J.M. Baker, Antony van der Ent. Root responses to localised soil arsenic enrichment in the fern Pityrogramma calomelanos var. austroamericana grown in rhizoboxes. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Elsevier, 2021, 164, pp.147-159. ⟨10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.04.025⟩. ⟨hal-03339595⟩

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