Genotoxic effects and proteomic analysis on Allium cepa var. agrogarum L. root cells under Pb stress

Abstract

Ionic lead (Pb) in the environment has accumulated due to anthropogenic activities, causing a potential threat to plants and plant consumers. We conducted this study to reveal the molecular mechanism of Pb stress response in plants. The effects of Pb (5.0 and 15.0 μM) on mitosis, DNA replication, gene expression and proteins in root-tip cells of Allium cepavar.agrogarum L. were addressed. The results indicated that root growth was inhibited dramatically in Pb treatment groups. Chromosomal aberrations were observed and the mitotic index decreased during Pb treatments at different concentrations. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in onion roots was induced by Pb stress. Pb increased DNA damage and suppressed cell cycle progression. The above toxic effects got more serious with increasing Pb concentration and prolonging exposure time. A total of 17 proteins were expressed differentially between control and Pb exposure groups. Under Pb treatment, the decreased expression of Anx D1 indicated decreased defensive response; the decreased expression of SHMT1 indicated decreased respiration; the decreased expression of COMT2 indicated decreased response of other funtions; the increased expression of NDPK indicated increased transcription and protein synthesis; the increased expression of PR1 and CHI1 indicated increased pathogen invasion; the increased expression of ORC5 and MPK5 indicated the reduced DNA replicating activity; the decreased expression of POLD1 indicated the reduced DNA repair activity. Our results provide new insights at the proteomic level into the Pb-induced responses, defensive responses and toxic effects, and provide new molecular markers of the early events of plant responses to Pb toxicity.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant 31670266), the Leading Scientists Project of Guangdong Province, the Guangdong Pearl River Scholar Funded Scheme (2012) and the Innovation Project of Graduate School of South China Normal University (2016lkxm10). We thank Prof. Lars Olof Björn (Lund University) and Prof. Paul Giller (University College Cork) for English editing of the paper.

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Correspondence to Shaoshan Li.

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These authors contributed equally: Guizhen Lyu, Dongbing Li

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Lyu, G., Li, D., Li, S. et al. Genotoxic effects and proteomic analysis on Allium cepa var. agrogarum L. root cells under Pb stress. Ecotoxicology (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10646-020-02236-x

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Keywords

  • Lead (Pb)
  • Mitosis
  • DNA damage
  • DNA replication
  • Proteomics