Plants Response and Tolerance to Arsenic-Induced Oxidative Stress

  • Anindita Mitra
  • Soumya Chatterjee
  • Dharmendra K. Gupta


Arsenic (As) is a toxic metalloid of global concern derived from natural, geothermal, and anthropogenic sources. Arsenic has deleterious effects in all forms of life including plants. Between the two inorganic forms, the highly oxidized pentavalent arsenate (AsV) is prevalent in the aerobic environment, while the highly reduced trivalent arsenite (AsIII) is the predominant form in an anaerobic environment. The main route of AsV uptake in plants is through the phosphate transporters, while AsIII and methylated As species enter through nodulin 26–like intrinsic protein (NIP) or aquaglyceroporins. After entering into the plant cell As can severely impede plant metabolism which leads to various physiological disorder. Subsequently, growth of the plants is subdued, and it results in delaying or restraining accrual of biomass and induces loss of fertility, yield, and fruit production. Exposure to inorganic As in plants promotes oxidative stress by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) during their conversion from AsV to AsIII. Plants have a well-organized antioxidant defense system to combat As stress. In plants, As intoxication triggers the activation of enzymatic antioxidants like superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and glutathione peroxidase (GPX); synthesis of nonenzymatic antioxidants, such as ascorbate and γ-Glu-Cys-Gly-tripeptide glutathione (GSH); and accumulation of anthocyanin in the leaves. As tolerance in plants is achieved by the production of phytochelatin following As exposure which is derived from GSH. This chapter aims to provide current updates about the molecular mechanism involved in uptake of the inorganic and organic species of As, their translocation, and the As-induced stress in plants with a special emphasis on oxidative stress.


Uptake Translocation Oxidative stress Antioxidative enzymes Phytochelatin Glutathione 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anindita Mitra
    • 1
  • Soumya Chatterjee
    • 2
  • Dharmendra K. Gupta
    • 3
  1. 1.Bankura Christian CollegeBankuraIndia
  2. 2.Defence Research Laboratory, Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)Ministry of DefenceTezpurIndia
  3. 3.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, Institut für Radioökologie und Strahlenschutz (IRS)HannoverGermany

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