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Metal Hyperaccumulation and Tolerance in Alyssum, Arabidopsis and Thlaspi: An Overview

Chapter
Part of the Environmental Pollution book series (EPOL, volume 21)

Abstract

Toxic metals (TMs) and metalloids are natural components of environments, but elevated toxic levels and high persistence of TMs and metalloids in major compartments of the biosphere has posed various uncompromising and fatal effects on flora and fauna, and thus, has threatened the stability of the ecosystems as well. In addition, with the rapid increase in anthropological practices, a large number of TMs and metalloids ions are being added to the natural environment disrupting the ecosystem. A plethora of plant species have been identified so far to have potential for the remediation of TMs and metalloids-contaminated sites. Although, a large number of natural metal hyperaccumulator plant species from 34 different plant families including Asteraceace, Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Poaceae, Violaceae and Fabaceae has evolved the ability to take up, tolerate and accumulate exceptionally high concentrations of metals and metalloids present in the soil (and water) and, more importantly, in their aboveground biomass without visible toxicity symptoms but with 87 species classified as metal hyperaccumulators, the family Brassicaceae best represents amongst these metal-hyperaccumulator families. Of these 87 different metal-hyperaccumulator plant species in the family Brassicaceae, plant species in particular model metal hyperaccumutaor plant species Alyssum, Thlaspi and Arabidopsis have been studied extensively for their ability to hyperaccumulate, remove, destroy, degrade, sequester, transform, assimilate, metabolize or detoxify majority of TMs and metalloids in varied environmental compartments. Additionally, significant technological advancements in varied scientific fields have now deciphered important physiological and molecular mechanisms of TMs- and metalloids-remediation processes/intricacies in metal hyper accumulating plant species. Based on the plethora of recent published reports the current chapter critically discusses important strategies adopted by Alyssum, Arabidopsis and Thlaspi for TMs- and metalloids-hyperaccumulation/remediation and tolerance.

Keywords

Alyssum Arabidopsis Thlaspi Remediation Tolerance Toxic metals Metalloids 

Notes

Acknowledgements

NAA (SFRH/BPD/64690/2009), IA, MP, ACD and EP are grateful to the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the Aveiro University Research Institute/Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) for partial financial supports. SSG, SU, PT, GS and NAK would like to acknowledge the receipt of funds from DBT, DST and UGC, Govt. of India, New Delhi. Authors apologize if some references related to the main theme of the current chapter could not be cited due to space constraint.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Molecular Biology GroupInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Stress Physiology and Molecular Biology Lab, Centre for BiotechnologyMD UniversityRohtakIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) & Department of ChemistryUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  4. 4.Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) & Department of Chemistry and BiologyUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  5. 5.Department of Environmental SciencePeriyar UniversitySalemIndia
  6. 6.Department of Plant Biotechnology, School of BiotechnologyMadurai Kamaraj UniversityMaduraiIndia
  7. 7.Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) & Department of BiologyUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  8. 8.Department of Botany, Faculty of ScienceHamdard UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  9. 9.Department of Botany, Faculty of Life SciencesAligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia

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