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Investigating synergistic responses of Tropical Plant Species to Soil Contamination by heavy metals and Tropospheric Ozone Exposure

Grant number: 23/16524-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2024
Effective date (End): November 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Botany - Pant Physiology
Principal Investigator:Marisa Domingos
Grantee:Matheus Casarini Siqueira
Supervisor: Elena Paoletti
Host Institution: Instituto de Pesquisas Ambientais (IPA). Secretaria de Meio Ambiente, Infraestrutura e Logística (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Istituto Di Ricerca Sugli Ecosistemi Terrestri, Sedi Firenze, Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:21/09686-9 - Tolerance responses of Atlantic Forest species to heavy metals and climate change: organic acids, phytochelatins and metallothioneins, BP.DR

Abstract

Copper, zinc, and nickel are heavy metals and essential micronutrients for plant growth and development. However, due to polluting human activities, an increasing input of these elements into natural environments is posing risks to the environment and life. In addition to increasing levels of heavy metals, these human activities have also been causing an increase in the concentration of potentially toxic gases such as ozone. To survive under these stressors, plants have developed physiological and biochemical defense mechanisms, such as phytochelatins, root organic acids and antioxidants. However, the ability to synthesize these compounds, as well as physiological responses to the combination of abiotic stressors, are still unknown in several plant species, especially Atlantic Forest species, a biodiversity hotspot. Species with different life habits and functional groups may present different tolerance strategies in face of environmental stressors. Therefore, this project aims to evaluate the synthesis of organic tolerance compounds and non-enzymatic antioxidants in seedlings of two species with different life habits, native to the Atlantic Forest, Schinus terebinthifolia (tree) and Seemannia sylvatica (herbaceous), grown in soil contaminated with metals heavy and subjected to conditions of increased atmospheric ozone concentration. The parameters analyzed will be leaf gas exchange, concentration of photosynthetic pigments, biometrics and biomass, synthesis of root organic acids, phytochelatins, ascorbic acid and glutathione (non-enzymatic antioxidants).

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