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Differential aluminum tolerance in plants of Brachiaria genus: root system morphology, antioxidant system and exchangeable aluminum in root apoplast

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Felipe Furlan
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Piracicaba.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura
Defense date:
Examining board members:
José Lavres Junior; Renato de Mello Prado
Advisor: José Lavres Junior

A variety of plant defense mechanisms have been shown, which confer tolerance to elements considered toxics, such as aluminum (Al). The aim of the first experiment was to evaluate the differential aluminum tolerance in four forage plants of Brachiaria genus (B. decumbens cv. Basilisk, B. brizantha cv. Marandu, B. brizantha cv. Piatã and B. brizantha cv. Xaraés), by measuring leaf area; root system morphology (total root length and total root surface); quantifying roots and plant top biomass yield; the Al-concentration, uptake and Al-long distance transport; evaluating lipid peroxidation in roots and leaves tissues, as well as the H2O2 content in leaves. Aluminum rates used were 0; 0.44; 0.89 and 1.33 mmol L-1, which were distributed as randomized block design, using a factorial 4 x 4 (four Al rates x four Brachiaria genotypes), with four replications. The free Al3+ activity in the nutrient solution was estimated using the software GeoChem-EZ®, reveling that around 81% of Al was available, considering the pH range between 3.0 and 4.0. Al addition in the nutrient solution decreased the plant top and root dry matter yield, increased Al-concentration and uptake in the roots. Though all these parameters, this following rank - as related to differential Al tolerance - was done: B. brizantha cv. Xaraés > B. decumbens cv. Basilisk >= B. brizantha cv. Piatã > B. brizantha cv. Marandu. In the second experiment, B. brizantha cv. Marandu (lower Al tolerance) and B. brizantha cv. Xaraés (higher Al tolerance) were grown in nutrient solution, with 0 and 1.33 mmol L-1 Al-concentrations, which were distributed as randomized block design, using a factorial 2 x 2 (two Al rates x two Brachiaria genotypes), with eight replications. Root system morphology and anatomy (root hairs) evaluations by using light and scanning electron microscopy, the Al concentration in the apoplast and symplast of roots, as well as the antioxidant enzymes activities such as catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), guaiacol peroxidase (GPOX) and glutathione reductase (GR) were taken in the leaves and roots tissues. The CAT, APX, GPOX and GR activities were more expressed in root tissues than leaves tissues. Al toxicity decreased CAT and GPOX activities in roots of B. brizantha cv. Xaraés on the one hand; and the other the APX and GR activity in B. brizantha cv. Marandu roots. As regards to Al partition in root system compartments, it was found that most of metal was accumulated in symplast, to both genotypes. On the other hand, in metal excess condition, the highest Al concentration on the root apoplast was verified to Xaraés cultivar, being 49% higher than those quantified on the Marandu cultivar. Major injuries were found in the root epidermis, as ruptures and small clefts, which in turn have induced significant structural changes on the root surface of Marandu genotype. Taken together, the results provide evidences that Brachiaria genotypes have distinct responses to Al excess, with greater or lesser efficiency mechanism, featuring differential Al-tolerance (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/02986-0 - "differential tolerance to aluminum in forage grasses Brachiaria: root system morphology, antioxidant system and exchangeable apoplastic aluminum"
Grantee:Felipe Furlan
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Master