African Journal of Biotechnology

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Impact of the application of humic acid and sodium nitroprusside on nickel toxicity: Analysis of relative gene expression

SP Alvarez, DC Montero, NEL Lopez, JM Lozano, ES Chavez


Nickel (Ni) is an essential micronutrient for plants but in high concentrations may turn toxic. This paper discusses the potential role of humic acid (HA) and sodium  nitroprusside in modulating or preventing oxidative stress in rice plants. Three genes [superoxide dismutase (SOD) glutathione reductase (GR) and ascorbate  peroxidase (APx) were selected for an expression study using a real time PCR technique. Three different treatments (T1 = nickel [nickel chloride (NiCl2·6H2O)] 300 mg L-1, T2 = nickel-humic acid, T3 = nickel-sodium nitroprusside) were used to determine the effect of humic acid and sodium nitroprusside on nickel toxicity in  rice plants. Rice plants grown in T2 appeared green and well developed. In leaves and roots, the expression of superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase was higher in T3 (nickel-sodium nitroprusside); glutathione reductase expression in roots was lower in T1 (sand with Ni solution) compared to T2 (nickel 300 mg L-1 and HA) where the expression was higher; significant differences were found between both treatments. In leaves, the behavior of this gene was similar in all   treatments. This research suggests that nickel toxicity cannot be diminished when HA or SNP are used, and they induce oxidative stress in rice plants.

Key words: Nickel toxicity, heavy metals, gene expression, oxidative stress.
AJOL African Journals Online