Heavy Metals and Phytoremediation
Davies, Luísa Caetano , Cabrita, Gonçalo , Ferreira, Renata , Carias, Cátia , Novais, Júlio Maggiolly , Martins-Dias, Susete .
In search of an in-depth understanding of phytoremediation by Phragmites australis.
Phytoremediation of effluents with Phragmites australis has many advantages over conventional treatments, the most emblematic being an environment-friendly, low-cost approach. Phytodegradation of organic compounds has been linked to plant enzymes capable of transforming, conjugating and eliminating pollutants, analogous to liver function. The specific role of P.australis in constructed wetlands, the related molecular biochemical processes, the links between the plant’s secondary metabolites and the detoxification pathways are still unclear. To overcome this knowledge gap, a study based on the gene expression of plant enzymes known to be involved in water-water and ascorbate-glutathione cycles is being carried out. Total RNA was extracted and purified from the leaves and roots of plants under different stress conditions. Gene expression was screened using primers for peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, dehydroascorbate and monodehydroascorbate reductase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase that were built using regions of high homology among other plants from Poaceae family. Using RT-PCR, the cDNA synthesized from mRNA was detected by agarose gel electrophoresis. The appearance and intensity of bands indicate genes that are being expressed, where the detoxification is occurring and the plant’s response time. In our studies, P.australis genes that led to an increase in the catalytic activity of the enzymes after the contact with a pollutant have been identified and the oxidative stress response verified to occur in a couple of days. P.australis belongs to the Poaceae family, along with rice, wheat, maize, barley and rye, which makes this genomic approach a valuable tool for monitoring food safety too.
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Enviromental and Eco-process Engineering Research Group
1 - Instituto Superior Tecnico, Centre for Biological and Chemical Engineering, Av. Rovico Pais, Torre Sul, 8 piso, Lisboa, Lisboa, 1049-001, Portugal
2 - Instituto Superior Tecnico, Centre for Biological and Chemical Engineering
Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM