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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13879

Title: Understanding the development of roots exposed to contaminants and the potential of plant-associated bacteria for optimization of growth
Authors: Remans, Tony
Thijs, Sofie
Truyens, Sascha
Weyens, Nele
Schellingen, Kerim
Keunen, Els
Gielen, Heidi
Cuypers, Ann
Vangronsveld, Jaco
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Citation: ANNALS OF BOTANY, 110 (2), p. 239-252
Abstract: Plant responses to the toxic effects of soil contaminants, such as excess metals or organic substances, have been studied mainly at physiological, biochemical and molecular levels, but the influence on root system architecture has received little attention. Nevertheless, the precise position, morphology and extent of roots can influence contaminant uptake. Here, data are discussed that aim to increase the molecular and ecological understanding of the influence of contaminants on root system architecture. Furthermore, the potential of plant-associated bacteria to influence root growth by their growth-promoting and stress-relieving capacities is explored. Root growth parameters of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings grown in vertical agar plates are quantified. Mutants are used in a reverse genetics approach to identify molecular components underlying quantitative changes in root architecture after exposure to excess cadmium, copper or zinc. Plant-associated bacteria are isolated from contaminated environments, genotypically and phenotypically characterized, and used to test plant root growth improvement in the presence of contaminants. The molecular determinants of primary root growth inhibition and effects on lateral root density by cadmium were identified. A vertical split-root system revealed local effects of cadmium and copper on root development. However, systemic effects of zinc exposure on root growth reduced both the avoidance of contaminated areas and colonization of non-contaminated areas. The potential for growth promotion and contaminant degradation of plant-associated bacteria was demonstrated by improved root growth of inoculated plants exposed to 2,4-di-nitro-toluene (DNT) or cadmium. Knowledge concerning the specific influence of different contaminants on root system architecture and the molecular mechanisms by which this is achieved can be combined with the exploitation of plant-associated bacteria to influence root development and increase plant stress tolerance, which should lead to more optimal root systems for application in phytoremediation or safer biomass production.
Notes: [Remans, Tony; Thijs, Sofie; Truyens, Sascha; Weyens, Nele; Schellingen, Kerim; Keunen, Els; Gielen, Heidi; Cuypers, Ann; Vangronsveld, Jaco] Hasselt Univ, Environm Biol, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13879
DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcs105
ISI #: 000306407800005
ISSN: 0305-7364
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2013
Appears in Collections: Environmental Biology
Research Institute: Centre for Environmental Sciences

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