Identification of Biochemical Pathways Associated with Lead Tolerance and Detoxification in Chrysopogon zizanioides L. Nash (Vetiver) by Metabolic Profiling

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Department of Biological Sciences


Lead (Pb) is a major urban pollutant, due to deteriorating lead-based paint in houses built before 1978. Phytoremediation is an inexpensive and effective technique for remediation of Pb-contaminated homes. Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides), a noninvasive, fast-growing grass with high biomass, can tolerate and accumulate large quantities of Pb in its tissues. Lead is known to induce phytochelatins and antioxidative enzymes in vetiver; however, the overall impact of Pb stress on metabolic pathways of vetiver is unknown. In the current study, vetiver plants were treated with different concentrations of Pb in a hydroponic setup. Metabolites were extracted and analyzed using LC/MS/MS. Multivariate analysis of metabolites in both root and shoot tissue showed tremendous induction in key metabolic pathways including sugar metabolism, amino acid metabolism, and an increase in production of osmoprotectants, such as betaine and polyols, and metal-chelating organic acids. The data obtained provide a comprehensive insight into the overall stress response mechanisms in vetiver.

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© 2016 American Chemical Society. Publisher’s version of record:

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Environmental Science and Technology