Publications by authors named "Shafaqat Ali"

219 Publications

Silicon elevated cadmium tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) by endorsing nutrients uptake and antioxidative defense mechanisms in the leaves.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 May 31;166:148-159. Epub 2021 May 31.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Numerous abiotic stressors including heavy metal stresses, specifically cadmium (Cd) stress in agricultural bio-system hinder the plant adequate growth. The present study was aimed to reveal the protective role of silicon (Si) application with two levels and to recognize the optimum level of Si for wheat plants grown hydroponically under three different levels of Cd toxicities. In methodology, we used nine treatments with three levels of Si (0, 1, and 3 mmol L; NaSiO) against three levels of Cd (0, 50, 200 μmol L; CdCl) with three biological replicates. The results of our study demonstrated that Si incorporation with the advantage of 3 mmol L in cultured media with Cd50 and Cd200 demolished the toxic effects of Cd on the leaves of wheat plants by increasing plant dry biomass by 88% and 262%, leaf area by 48% and 57%, total chlorophyll contents by 120% and 74%, catalase (CAT) activity by 92% and 110%, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity by 62% and 78%, peroxidase (POD) activity by 66% and 40%, ascorbic acid (AsA) contents by 33% and 34%, glutathione (GHS) contents by 39% and 30% and reduced MDA contents by 56% and 50%, HO contents by 61% and 66%, and EL contents by 56% and 47% as parallel to Cd corresponding levels. In addition, Si incorporation with the advantage of 3 mmol L significantly increased relative water contents (RWC) to maintain the cell turgor pressure and protect the plant from wilting and cells flaccid and enhanced membrane stability index (MSI) to protect the plant from logging under damaging effects of Cd toxicities. Based on the present findings, Si can be considered a quasi-essential element that enhanced wheat tolerance against Cd toxicity by limiting uptake, accumulation, and translocation of Cd and through regulating antioxidative defense mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.05.038DOI Listing
May 2021

Menadione sodium bisulphite regulates physiological and biochemical responses to lessen salinity effects on wheat ( L.).

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2021 May 13;27(5):1135-1152. Epub 2021 May 13.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Salinity is a significant constraint for plant survival and productivity. Therefore, an immediate solution to this problem is sought to meet the human population's food demands. Recently, Menadione sodium bisulphite (MSB) has emerged as a significant regulator of plant defense response under abiotic stress. Studies on MSB are scarce, and a few reports on salinity (Arabidopsis and okra) and cadmium stress (okra) are present in the literature. However, these studies did not include the impact of MSB on physiological and plant water relation attributes, critical mediators of plant survival, and yield production under stress. Our results studied the impact of MSB on wheat administered to NaCl salinity in hydroponics medium. We used two wheat cultivars (salt-sensitive MH-97 and salt-tolerant Millat-2011, based on our pre-experimental studies). Seeds were primed in different MSB doses [control (unprimed), hydroprimed, 5, 10, 20, and 30 mM]. Salinity significantly diminished growth, chlorophyll molecules, photosynthesis, total free amino acids, water and turgor potentials, K, Ca, and P contents of wheat when administered NaCl salinity in the nutrient solution. Besides, a noteworthy accretion was present in oxidative stress markers [hydrogen peroxide & malondialdehyde], proline, ascorbic acid, antioxidant enzyme activities, and Na accumulation under salinity. Moreover, MSB noticeably enhanced chlorophyll molecules, proline, and oxidative defense to improve photosynthesis, plant water relations, and diminish specific ions toxicity. Our results manifested better defense regulation in salt-administered plants primed with 5 and 10 mM MSB. Our findings strongly advocated the use of MSB in improving plant salinity tolerance, particularly in wheat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-021-01001-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140022PMC
May 2021

Arsenic behavior in soil-plant system and its detoxification mechanisms in plants: A review.

Environ Pollut 2021 May 21;286:117389. Epub 2021 May 21.

College of Grassland Science and Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, 611130, China. Electronic address:

Arsenic (As) is one of the most toxic and cancer-causing metals which is generally entered the food chain via intake of As contaminated water or food and harmed the life of living things especially human beings. Therefore, the reduction of As content in the food could be of great importance for healthy life. To reduce As contamination in the soil and food, the evaluation of plant-based As uptake and transportation mechanisms is critically needed. Different soil factors such as physical and chemical properties of soil, soil pH, As speciation, microbial abundance, soil phosphates, mineral nutrients, iron plaques and roots exudates effectively regulate the uptake and accumulation of As in different parts of plants. The detoxification mechanisms of As in plants depend upon aquaporins, membrane channels and different transporters that actively control the influx and efflux of As inside and outside of plant cells, respectively. The xylem loading is responsible for long-distance translocation of As and phloem loading involves in the partitioning of As into the grains. However, As detoxification mechanism based on the clear understandings of how As uptake, accumulations and translocation occur inside the plants and which factors participate to regulate these processes. Thus, in this review we emphasized the different soil factors and plant cell transporters that are critically responsible for As uptake, accumulation, translocation to different organs of plants to clearly understand the toxicity reasons in plants. This study could be helpful for further research to develop such strategies that may restrict As entry into plant cells and lead to high crop yield and safe food production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117389DOI Listing
May 2021

Biochar mitigates arsenic-induced human health risks and phytotoxicity in quinoa under saline conditions by modulating ionic and oxidative stress responses.

Environ Pollut 2021 May 15;287:117348. Epub 2021 May 15.

Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Vehari Campus, 61100, Pakistan.

Arsenic (As) is a toxic metalloid and its widespread contamination in agricultural soils along with soil salinization has become a serious concern for human health and food security. In the present study, the effect of cotton shell biochar (CSBC) in decreasing As-induced phytotoxicity and human health risks in quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) grown on As-spiked saline and non-saline soils was evaluated. Quinoa plants were grown on As contaminated (0, 15 and 30 mg kg) saline and non-saline soils amended with 0, 1 and 2% CSBC. Results showed that plant growth, grain yield, stomatal conductance and chlorophyll contents of quinoa showed more decline on As contaminated saline soil than non-saline soil. The application of 2% CSBC particularly enhanced plant growth, leaf relative water contents, stomatal conductance, pigment contents and limited the uptake of As and Na as compared to soil without CSBC. Salinity in combination with As trigged the production of HO and caused lipid peroxidation of cell membranes. Biochar ameliorated the oxidative stress by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, POD, CAT). Carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic human health risks were greatly decreased in the presence of biochar. Application of 2% CSBC showed promising results in reducing human health risks and As toxicity in quinoa grown on As contaminated non-saline and saline soils. Further research is needed to evaluate the role of biochar in minimizing As accumulation in other crops on normal as well as salt affected soils under field conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117348DOI Listing
May 2021

Synthesis and Characterization of Na-Zeolites from Textile Waste Ash and Its Application for Removal of Lead (Pb) from Wastewater.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 03 24;18(7). Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Massive production of carcinogenic fly ash waste poses severe threats to water bodies due to its disposal into drains and landfills. Fly ash can be a source of raw materials for the synthesis of adsorbents. Rag fly ash as a new class of raw materials could be a cheap source of Al and Si for the synthesis of Na-zeolites. In this work, NaOH activation, via a prefusion- and postfusion-based hydrothermal strategy, was practiced for the modification of rag fly ash into Na-zeolite. Morphology, surface porosity, chemical composition, functionality, mineral phases, and crystallinity, in conjunction with ion exchangeability of the tailored materials, were evaluated by SEM, ICP-OES, XRF, FTIR, XRD, and cation exchange capacity (CEC) techniques. Rag fly ash and the synthesized Na-zeolites were applied for the removal of Pb (II) from synthetic wastewater by varying the reaction conditions, such as initial metal ion concentration, mass of adsorbent, sorption time, and pH of the reaction medium. It was observed that Na-zeolite materials (1 g/100 mL) effectively removed up to 90-98% of Pb (II) ions from 100 mg/L synthetic solution within 30 min at pH ≈ 8. Freundlich adsorption isotherm favors the multilayer heterogeneous adsorption mechanism for the removal of Pb (II). It is reasonable to conclude that recycling of textile rag fly ash waste into value-added Na-zeolites for the treatment of industrial wastewater could be an emergent move toward achieving sustainable and green remediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18073373DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8037912PMC
March 2021

Phosphate-lanthanum coated sewage sludge biochar improved the soil properties and growth of ryegrass in an alkaline soil.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Mar 30;216:112173. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Key Laboratory of Material Chemistry for Energy Conversion and Storage, Ministry of Education, Hubei Key Laboratory of Material Chemistry and Service Failure, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, PR China. Electronic address:

The reclamation of alkaline soils remains challenging while the application of biochar has been proposed as a viable measure to rehabilitate soil fertility. The objective of the current pot study was to evaluate the efficacy of various P-La modified sewage sludge biochars (SSBC, La-SSBC, SSBC-P, La-SSBC-P) on soil phosphate-retention and ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) growth in an alkaline soil (excess CaCO). The results revealed that germination percentage, plant dry biomass, plant height, and the total amount of P in the ryegrass leaves were significantly (P < 0.05) improved under La-SSBC-P treatment as compared to other treatments. La-SSBC-P treatment significantly altered the chemical characteristics of post-harvest alkaline soil, such as pH, electrical conductivity (EC), cation exchange capacity (CEC), soil organic matter (SOM), limestone (CaCO), phosphate, and lanthanum contents. In comparison to the SSBC treatment, soil available phosphorous (AP) contents under La-SSBC-P were enhanced by 6.7 times after loading biochar with P and La (La-SSBC-P). After the plantation of ryegrass, concentration of lanthanum in the soil was negligible. The contents of CaCO reduced by 76.2% after La-SSBC-P biochar treatment, compared to the cultivated control. This phenomenon clearly indicated that lanthanum was reduced due to the precipitation with limestone, which was proposed based on the data of X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Overall, results showed that the P-loaded lanthanum decorated biochar (La-SSBC-P) could be used as a potential substitute for P-fertilizer under the experimental conditions. However, field experiments are required to confer the efficiency of La-SSBC-P as P fertilizer in different soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112173DOI Listing
March 2021

Multi-element uptake and growth responses of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) to TiO nanoparticles applied in different textured soils.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jun 25;215:112149. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, 11451 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The aim of present work was to evaluate the effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO NPs) on rice's growth (Oryza sativa L.) and nutrient availability under different soil textures. Greenhouse experiment was carried out with three soil textures (sandy loam, silt loam and silty clay loam) and two concentrations of TiO NPs (500, 750 mg kg). Control (without TiO NPs) was also maintained for the comparison. Growth parameters including chlorophyll content, root/shoot length, fresh/dry biomass and nutrients' uptake including calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), phosphorous (P), potassium (K) and zinc (Zn) were determined. The results revealed that application of 500 mg kg TiO NPs in silty clay loam soil increased the chlorophyll content (3.3-folds), root length (49%), shoot length (31%), root and shoot biomass (41% & 39%, respectively) as compared to other soil textures. The maximum plant growth was observed in silty clay loam > silt loam > sandy loam. Concentration of Cu, Fe, P and Zn in shoot was increased by 8 - , 2.3 - , 0.4 - , 0.05 -folds in silty clay loam upon 500 mg kg TiO NPs application as compared to the control. Backward selection method to model the parameters (nutrients in soil) for the response variables (root/shoot length and biomass) showed that Ca, Fe, P are the main nutrients responsible for the increase in plant length and biomass. Overall, the growth of rice was better in silty clay loam at 500 mg kg of TiO NPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112149DOI Listing
June 2021

Effect of three different types of biochars on eco-physiological response of important agroforestry tree species under salt stress.

Int J Phytoremediation 2021 Mar 25:1-11. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Soil reclamation through afforestation along with soil amendments is one of the most suitable practices to combat soil salinity while the use of biochar may have potential to ameliorate salt-affected soils. This study was designed to check effects of different biochars on the physico-chemical properties of soil and characteristics of three important agroforestry trees species: , in saline soils. Farmyard manure biochar (FYMB), sugarcane bagasse biochar (SCB), woodchips biochar (WCB) were applied (6% w/w) to check their effects on plants under saline conditions. Results revealed that FYMB was the best for promoting all growth and physiological parameters of three tree species while was the best suited species. Different types of biochars influenced the growth of agroforestry species differently as SCB showed better results for as compared to WCB but for and WCB was more effective than SCB. Trend of growth and other physiological attributes for and was FYMB > WCB > SCB > control whereas showed trend as FYMB > SCB > WCB > control. Biochar was helpful in improving physicochemical characteristics of saline soils by lowering values of soil EC and SAR but type of biochar has a differential effect on tree growth.Novelty statementBiochar may be a potential source for the amelioration of salt affected soils while less is known about the effects of different types of biochars on the soil and eco-physiological response of important agroforestry trees species in saline soils. In this study, although all types of biochar ameliorated the soil conditions and enhanced the plant growth, but farmyard manure biochar was the most efficient treatment among three types of used biochars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15226514.2021.1901849DOI Listing
March 2021

Combined use of different nanoparticles effectively decreased cadmium (Cd) concentration in grains of wheat grown in a field contaminated with Cd.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jun 21;215:112139. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.

Cadmium (Cd) accumulation in arable lands has become a serious matter for food security. Among various approaches, the application of nanoparticles (NPs) for remediation of contaminated water and soils is attaining more popularity worldwide. The current field experiment was executed to explore the impacts of single and combined use of ZnO NPs, Fe NPs and Si NPs on wheat growth and Cd intake by plants in a Cd-contaminated field. Wheat was sown in a field which was contaminated with Cd and was irrigated with the raw-city-effluent while NPs were applied as foliar spray alone and in all possible combinations. The data revealed that straw and grain yields were enhanced in the presence of NPs over control. Chlorophyll, carotenoids contents and antioxidants activities were enhanced while electrolyte leakage was reduced with all NPs over control. In comparison with control, Cd uptake in wheat straw was reduced by 84% and Cd uptake in grain was reduced by 99% in T8 where all three NPs were foliar-applied simultaneously. Zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) contents were increased in those plants where ZnO and Fe NPs were exogenously applied which revealed that ZnO and Fe NPs enhanced the bio-fortification of Zn and Fe in wheat grains. Overall, foliar application of different NPs is beneficial for better wheat growth, yield, nutrients uptake and to lessen the Cd intake by plants grown in Cd-contaminated soil under real field conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112139DOI Listing
June 2021

Potassium ferrite nanoparticles on DAP to formulate slow release fertilizer with auxiliary nutrients.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jun 21;215:112148. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Low use efficiency of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) is major challenge of modern agriculture. Coating of conventional fertilizers with nanomaterials is a promising technique for improved nutrient use efficiency. In current study, nanoparticles (NPs) of potassium ferrite (KFeO NPs) were coated on di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer with three rates (2, 5, 10%) of KFeO NPs and were evaluated for release of N, P, K and Fe supplementation in clay loam and loam soil up to 60 days. The NPs were characterized for crystal assemblage, bond formation, morphology and configuration using the x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and Fourier transform-infra red spectroscopy (FT-IR). The results showed that size of NPs ranged between 7 and 18 nm. The controlled release of P in 10% KFeO nano-coated DAP was observed throughout the incubation period. The P release kept on increasing from day-1 (14.5 µg g) to day-60 (178.6 µg g) in coated DAP (10%) in loam soil. The maximum release of 50.4 µg g NH-N in coated DAP (10%) was observed after 30 days of incubation. The release of NO-N was consistent up to 45 and 60 days in clay loam and loam soil, respectively. The average release of potassium and iron in 60 days was 19.7 µg g and 7.3 µg g higher in 10% coated DAP than traditional DAP in clay loam soil. It was concluded that KFeO nano-coated DAP supplied P and mineral N for longer period of time in both soils, and some higher coating levels should be tested in future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112148DOI Listing
June 2021

Menadione sodium bisulfite alleviated chromium effects on wheat by regulating oxidative defense, chromium speciation, and ion homeostasis.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Mar 9. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Department of Botany, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan.

Menadione sodium bisulfite (MSB) is a crucial growth regulator mediating plant defense response. MSB-mediated regulation of defense mechanisms in wheat under chromium (Cr) toxicity has not been reported in the literature. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to appraise the efficacy of exogenous MSB on circumventing Cr phytotoxic effects on wheat. We also compared the effects of water-soluble MSB with that of water-insoluble menadiol diacetate (MD). The levels used in the present investigation for MSB and MD were 100 and 200 mg L. Wheat plants grown in soil contaminated with 25 mg kg Cr in the form of KCrO showed a notable reduction in growth, chlorophyll molecules, relative water contents, grain yield, total soluble sugars, phenolics, flavonoids, ascorbic acid, activities of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, POD, CAT), and uptake of essential nutrients (K, P, and Ca). Cr toxicity caused a noticeable accretion in total free amino acids, proline, malondialdehyde, HO, O, relative membrane permeability, methylglyoxal contents, activities of enzymes (lipoxygenase, glutathione-S-transferase, and ascorbate peroxidase), nitric oxide and HS contents, glutathione and oxidized glutathione contents, total Cr contents, and Cr and Cr accumulation. MSB application significantly reduced lipid peroxidation, ROS overproduction, methylglyoxal levels, total Cr contents, and maintained higher Cr:Cr ratio in aerial parts. Besides, Cr-mediated inhibition in essential nutrient uptake was significantly circumvented by exogenous MSB. Consequently, MSB enhanced wheat growth by lessening oxidative damage, total Cr contents in aerial parts, and strengthening antioxidant enzyme activities. MD was not effective in mediating defense responses in wheat under Cr toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-13221-0DOI Listing
March 2021

Effect of green and chemically synthesized titanium dioxide nanoparticles on cadmium accumulation in wheat grains and potential dietary health risk: A field investigation.

J Hazard Mater 2021 08 8;415:125585. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38000, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

A field study was designed to explore the impacts of foliar-applied chemically and green synthesized titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO NPs) on cadmium (Cd) uptake in wheat plants. The wheat was grown in field which was contaminated with Cd and plants were subjected to foliar episodes of TiO NPs during plant growth period. Leaf extracts of two plant species (Trianthema portulacastrum, Chenopodium quinoa) were used for green synthesis while sol-gel method was used for chemical preparation of TiO NPs. Results showed that TiO NPs significantly enhanced the plant height, length of spikes photosynthesis, and straw and grain yield compared to control. TiO NPs minimized the oxidative burst in leaves and improved the enzyme activities than control. Cadmium concentrations of straw, roots and grains decreased after TiO NPs treatments than control. The grain Cd contents were below recommended threshold (0.2 mg Cd /kg grain DW) for cereals upon NPs exposure. The health risk index by the dietary use of grains for adults was below threshold upon NPs exposure. Overall, foliar use of TiO NPs prepared from plant extracts was appropriate in minimizing Cd contents in wheat grains, thereby reducing risk of Cd to human health via food chain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125585DOI Listing
August 2021

Elucidating Cd-mediated distinct rhizospheric and ionomic and physio-biochemical responses of two contrasting L. cultivars.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2021 Feb 18;27(2):297-312. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Botany, Faculty of Life Sciences, Government College University, Faisalabad, 38000 Pakistan.

Cadmium (Cd) in soil-plant system can abridge plant growth by initiating alterations in root zones. Hydroponics and rhizoboxes are useful techniques to monitor plant responses against various natural and/or induced metal stresses. However, soil based studies are considered more appropriate in order to devise efficient food safety and remediation strategies. The present research evaluated the Cd-mediated variations in elemental dynamics of rhizospheric soil together with ionomics and morpho-physio-biochemical traits of two differentially Cd responsive maize cultivars. Cd-sensitive (31P41) and Cd-tolerant (3062) cultivars were grown in pots filled with 0, 20, 40, 60 and 80 µg/kg CdCl supplemented soil. The results depicted that the maize cultivars significantly influenced the elemental dynamics of rhizosphere as well as mineral accumulation under applied Cd stress. The uptake and translocation of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn and Fe from rhizosphere and root cell sap was significantly higher in Cd stressed cv. 3062 as compared to cv. 31P41. In sensitive cultivar (31P41), Cd toxicity resulted in significantly prominent reduction of biomass, leaf area, chlorophyll, carotenoids, protein contents as well as catalase activity in comparison to tolerant one (3062). Analysis of tolerance indexes (TIs) validated that cv. 3062 exhibited advantageous growth and efficient Cd tolerance due to elevated proline, phenolics and activity of antioxidative machinery as compared to cv. 31P41. The cv. 3062 exhibited 54% and 37% less Cd bio-concentration (BCF) and translocation factors (TF), respectively in comparison to cv. 31P41 under highest Cd stress regime. Lower BCF and TF designated a higher Cd stabilization by tolerant cultivar (3062) in rhizospheric zone and its potential use in future remediation plans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-021-00936-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7907289PMC
February 2021

TiO nanoparticles dose, application method and phosphorous levels influence genotoxicity in Rice (Oryza sativa L.), soil enzymatic activities and plant growth.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Apr 9;213:111977. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Institute of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan. Electronic address:

The present study focused on investigating the effect of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiONPs) on rice (Oryza sativa L.) growth and changes in soil health in two contrasting soil textures (silt-loam and clay). Moreover, response of rice to different methods of TiONPs application and phosphorous fertilizer levels were also evaluated. For toxicity assessment, pot experiment was carried out. TiONPs (0, 500, 750 mg kg) were applied and plants were grown till vegetative stage. After harvesting, physiological parameters, stress assay, soil microbial and enzymatic activities were determined. Based on the results of toxicity study, impact of three methods of TiONPs application (foliar, irrigation, soil) and four phosphorous fertilizer levels (0, 10, 20, 40 mg kg) on rice growth were assessed. During the 1st phase, results showed an adverse effect of TiONPs on plant growth and soil microorganisms in both soil textures at 750 mg kg. The HO production, lipid peroxidation and leaf membrane injury index were increased by 4.3-, 2.4-, and 1.9-folds in clay soil upon 750 mg kg TiONPs application. Likewise, at the same level of TiONPs; microbial biomass, dehydrogenase, and respiration were decreased by 0.91-, 0.79-, and 0.78- folds respectively. In 2nd phase, maximum shoot length, biomass, phosphorous uptake and rice grain protein content were observed under application of TiONPs (500 mg kg) through irrigation method in combination with 40 mg P kg. However, 20 and 40 mg P kg performed equally well upon TiONPs application and the results were not statistically significant. The results suggest that 750 mg kg of TiONPs negatively affect plant growth and soil enzymatic activities. Moreover, combined application of TiONPs (500 mg kg) through irrigation and 20 mg P kg is recommended to be the optimum for growth of rice plant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.111977DOI Listing
April 2021

Synthesis, characterization and advanced sustainable applications of titanium dioxide nanoparticles: A review.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Apr 6;212:111978. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Universiti Teknologi, Malaysia.

Nanotechnology is capturing great interest worldwide due to their stirring applications in various fields. Among nanoparticles (NPs), titanium dioxide (TiO) NPs have been widely used in daily life and can be synthesized through various physical, chemical, and green methods. Green synthesis is a non-toxic, cost-effective, and eco-friendly route for the synthesis of NPs. Plenty of work has been reported on the green, chemical, physical and biological synthesis of TiO NPs and these NPs can be characterized through high tech. instruments. In the present review, dense data have been presented on the comparative synthesis of TiO NPs with different characteristics and their wide range of applications. Among the TiO NPs synthesis techniques, the green methods have been proven to be efficient than chemical synthesis methods because of the less use of precursors, time-effectiveness, and energy-efficiency during the green synthesis procedures. Moreover, this review describes the types of plants (shrubs, herbs and trees), microorganisms (bacteria, fungi and algae), biological derivatives (proteins, peptides, and starches) employed for the synthesis of TiO NPs. The TiO NPs can be effectively used for the treatment of polluted water and positively affected the plant physiology especially under abiotic stresses but the response varied with types, size, shapes, doses, duration of exposure, metal species along with other factors. This review also highlights the regulating features and future standpoints for the measurable enrichment in TiO NPs product and perspectives of TiO NPs reliable application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.111978DOI Listing
April 2021

Cadmium uptake and translocation: selenium and silicon roles in Cd detoxification for the production of low Cd crops: a critical review.

Chemosphere 2021 Jun 21;273:129690. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, Root Biology Center, College of Natural Resources and Environment, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, Guangdong, PR China. Electronic address:

Cadmium (Cd) is a primary contaminant in agricultural soils of the world. The ability of Cd uptake, transport, detoxification, and accumulation varies among different plant species and genotypes. Cd is translocated from soil to root by different transporters which are used for essential plant nutrient uptake. A number of strategies have been suggested for decreasing Cd toxicity in Cd contaminated soils. Recently, a lot of research have been carried out on minimizing Cd uptake through selenium (Se) and silicon (Si) applications. Both Se and Si have been reported to mitigate Cd toxicity in different crops. Vacuolar sequestration, formation of phytochelatins, and cell wall adsorption have been reported as effective mechanisms for Cd detoxification. The present review discussed past and current knowledge of literature to better understand Cd toxicity and its mitigation by adopting different feasible and practical approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.129690DOI Listing
June 2021

Effects of biochar, farm manure, and pressmud on mineral nutrients and cadmium availability to wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in Cd-contaminated soil.

Physiol Plant 2021 Jan 27. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

The contamination of agricultural soils with cadmium (Cd) is one of the serious worldwide concerns for food security. Biochar and organic manures have been known for enhancing plant growth and minimizing toxic trace element stress in plants. However, less is known about the effect of different organic amendments on Cd and uptake of essential nutrients by wheat. Thus, the effects of rice straw biochar (RSB), maize stalk biochar (MSB), farmyard manure (FYM), and pressmud (PRM) at a rate of 1% w/w were tested for Cd immobilization in soil and mineral nutrient availability to wheat crop grown in Cd-spiked soil (6.0 mg kg ). The amendments were added in Cd-spiked soil before 12 days of seed sowing and wheat plants were harvested after maturity (115 days after sowing). The findings revealed that the use of amendments improved the number of grains per spike, straw and grain yield of wheat relative to control treatment. The treatments minimized the Cd and enhanced the contents of zinc (Zn), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the leaves and grain of the wheat plants. Cadmium concentrations decreased by 35, 38, 68, and 63% in wheat grain, and grain yield increased by 19, 31, 68, and 58% with the application of FYM, PRM, MSB, and RSB, respectively. Overall, the application of MSB was more efficient in decreasing Cd concentrations in leaf and grains of wheat as compared to other conventional organic amendments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13348DOI Listing
January 2021

Role of Exogenous and Endogenous Hydrogen Sulfide (HS) on Functional Traits of Plants Under Heavy Metal Stresses: A Recent Perspective.

Front Plant Sci 2020 7;11:545453. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Zoology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Improving growth and productivity of plants that are vulnerable to environmental stresses, such as heavy metals, is of significant importance for meeting global food and energy demands. Because heavy metal toxicity not only causes impaired plant growth, it has also posed many concerns related to human well-being, so mitigation of heavy metal pollution is a necessary priority for a cleaner environment and healthier world. Hydrogen sulfide (HS), a gaseous signaling molecule, is involved in metal-related oxidative stress mitigation and increased stress tolerance in plants. It performs multifunctional roles in plant growth regulation while reducing the adverse effects of abiotic stress. Most effective function of HS in plants is to eliminate metal-related oxidative toxicity by regulating several key physiobiochemical processes. Soil pollution by heavy metals presents significant environmental challenge due to the absence of vegetation cover and the resulting depletion of key soil functions. However, the use of stress alleviators, such as HS, along with suitable crop plants, has considerable potential for an effective management of these contaminated soils. Overall, the present review examines the imperative role of exogenous application of different HS donors in reducing HMs toxicity, by promoting plant growth, stabilizing their physiobiochemical processes, and upregulating antioxidative metabolic activities. In addition, crosstalk of different growth regulators with endogenous HS and their contribution to the mitigation of metal phytotoxicity have also been explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.545453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817613PMC
January 2021

Research advances and applications of biosensing technology for the diagnosis of pathogens in sustainable agriculture.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Feb 19;28(8):9002-9019. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan.

Plant diseases significantly impact the global economy, and plant pathogenic microorganisms such as nematodes, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and viroids may be the etiology for most infectious diseases. In agriculture, the development of disease-free plants is an important strategy for the determination of the survival and productivity of plants in the field. This article reviews biosensor methods of disease detection that have been used effectively in other fields, and these methods could possibly transform the production methods of the agricultural industry. The precise identification of plant pathogens assists in the assessment of effective management steps for minimization of production loss. The new plant pathogen detection methods include evaluation of signs of disease, detection of cultured organisms, or direct examination of contaminated tissues through molecular and serological techniques. Laboratory-based approaches are costly and time-consuming and require specialized skills. The conclusions of this review also indicate that there is an urgent need for the establishment of a reliable, fast, accurate, responsive, and cost-effective testing method for the detection of field plants at early stages of growth. We also summarized new emerging biosensor technologies, including isothermal amplification, detection of nanomaterials, paper-based techniques, robotics, and lab-on-a-chip analytical devices. However, these constitute novelty in the research and development of approaches for the early diagnosis of pathogens in sustainable agriculture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-12419-6DOI Listing
February 2021

Interactive role of zinc and iron lysine on L. growth, photosynthesis and antioxidant capacity irrigated with tannery wastewater.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2020 Dec 2;26(12):2435-2452. Epub 2020 Dec 2.

Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, 11451 Saudi Arabia.

Abstract: Untreated wastewater contains toxic amounts of heavy metals such as chromium (Cr), which poses a serious threat to the growth and physiology of plants when used in irrigation. Though, Cr is among the most widespread toxic trace elements found in agricultural soils due to various anthropogenic activities. To explore the interactive effects of micronutrients with amino acid chelators [iron-lysine (Fe-lys) and zinc-lysine (Zn-lys)], pot experiments were conducted in a controlled environment, using spinach ( L.) plant irrigated with tannery wastewater. . was treated without Fe and Zn-lys (0 mg/L Zn-lys and 0 mg/L Fe-lys) and also treated with various combinations of (interactive application) Fe and Zn-lys (10 mg/L Zn-lys and 5 mg/L Fe-lys), when cultivated at different levels [0 (control) 33, 66 and 100%) of tannery wastewater in the soil having a toxic level of Cr in it. According to the results, we have found that, high concentration of Cr in the soil significantly ( < 0.05) reduced plant height, fresh biomass of roots and leaves, dry biomass of roots and leaves, root length, number of leaves, leaf area, total chlorophyll contents, carotenoid contents, transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs), net photosynthesis (PN), and water use efficiency (WUE) and the contents of Zn and Fe in the plant organs without foliar application of Zn and Fe-lys. Moreover, phytotoxicity of Cr increased malondialdehyde (MDA) contents in the plant organs (roots and leaves), which induced oxidative damage in . manifested by the contents of hydrogen peroxide (HO) and membrane leakage. The negative effects of Cr toxicity could be overturned by Zn and Fe-lys application, which significantly ( < 0.05) increase plant growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, and gaseous exchange attributes by reducing oxidative stress (HO, MDA, EL) and increasing the activities of various antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Furthermore, the supplementation of Zn and Fe-lys increased the contents of essential nutrients (Fe and Zn) and decreased the content of Cr in all plant parts compared to the plants cultivated in tannery wastewater without application of Fe-lys. Taken together, foliar supplementation of Zn and Fe-lys alleviates Cr toxicity in . by increased morpho-physiological attributes of the plants, decreased Cr contents and increased micronutrients uptake by the soil, and can be an effective in heavy metal toxicity remedial approach for other crops.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-020-00912-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7772129PMC
December 2020

A manipulative interplay between positive and negative regulators of phytohormones: A way forward for improving drought tolerance in plants.

Physiol Plant 2021 Jun 2;172(2):1269-1290. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Among different abiotic stresses, drought stress is the leading cause of impaired plant growth and low productivity worldwide. It is therefore essential to understand the process of drought tolerance in plants and thus to enhance drought resistance. Accumulating evidence indicates that phytohormones are essential signaling molecules that regulate diverse processes of plant growth and development under drought stress. Plants can often respond to drought stress through a cascade of phytohormones signaling as a means of plant growth regulation. Understanding biosynthesis pathways and regulatory crosstalk involved in these vital compounds could pave the way for improving plant drought tolerance while maintaining overall plant health. In recent years, the identification of phytohormones related key regulatory genes and their manipulation through state-of-the-art genome engineering tools have helped to improve drought tolerance plants. To date, several genes linked to phytohormones signaling networks, biosynthesis, and metabolism have been described as a promising contender for engineering drought tolerance. Recent advances in functional genomics have shown that enhanced expression of positive regulators involved in hormone biosynthesis could better equip plants against drought stress. Similarly, knocking down negative regulators of phytohormone biosynthesis can also be very effective to negate the negative effects of drought on plants. This review explained how manipulating positive and negative regulators of phytohormone signaling could be improvised to develop future crop varieties exhibiting higher drought tolerance. In addition, we also discuss the role of a promising genome editing tool, CRISPR/Cas9, on phytohormone mediated plant growth regulation for tackling drought stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ppl.13325DOI Listing
June 2021

Foliar exposure of zinc oxide nanoparticles improved the growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and decreased cadmium concentration in grains under simultaneous Cd and water deficient stress.

Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021 Jan 24;208:111627. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, 38000 Faisalabad, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

A pot study was conducted to explore the effectiveness of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) foliar exposure on growth and development of wheat, zinc (Zn) and cadmium (Cd) uptake in Cd-contaminated soil under various moisture conditions. Four different levels (0, 25, 50, 100 mg/L) of these NPs were foliar-applied at different time periods during the growth of wheat. Two soil moisture regimes (70% and 35% of water holding capacity) were maintained from 6 weeks of germination till plant harvesting. The results revealed that the growth of wheat increased with ZnO NPs treatments. The best results were found in 100 mg/L ZnO NPs under normal moisture level. The lowest Cd and highest Zn concentrations were also examined when 100 mg/L NPs were applied without water deficit stress. In grain, Cd concentrations decreased by 26%, 81% and 87% in normal moisture while in water deficit conditions, the Cd concentrations decreased by 35%, 66% and 81% compared to control treatment when ZnO NPs were used at 25, 50 and 100 mg/L. The foliar exposure of ZnO NPs boosted up the leaf chlorophyll contents and also decreased the oxidative stress and enhanced the leaf superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activities than the control. It can be suggested that foliar use of ZnO NPs might be an efficient way for increasing wheat growth and yield with maximum Zn and minimum Cd contents under drought stress while decreasing the chances of NPs movement to other environmental compartment which may be possible in soil applied NPs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.111627DOI Listing
January 2021

Peptone-Induced Physio-Biochemical Modulations Reduce Cadmium Toxicity and Accumulation in Spinach ( L.).

Plants (Basel) 2020 Dec 19;9(12). Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Botany and Microbiology Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh l1451, Saudi Arabia.

The accumulation of cadmium (Cd) in edible plant parts and fertile lands is a worldwide problem. It negatively influences the growth and productivity of leafy vegetables (e.g., spinach, L.), which have a high tendency to radially accumulate Cd. The present study investigated the influences of peptone application on the growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, gas exchange parameters, antioxidant enzymes activity, and Cd content of spinach plants grown under Cd stress. Cd toxicity negatively affected spinach growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, and gas exchange attributes. However, it increased malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (HO), electrolyte leakage (EL), proline accumulation, ascorbic acid content, Cd content, and activity of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) in spinach plants. The exogenous foliar application of peptone increased the growth, biomass, chlorophyll content, proline accumulation, and gas exchange attributes of spinach plants. Furthermore, the application of peptone decreased Cd uptake and levels of MDA, HO, and EL in spinach by increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes. This enhancement in plant growth and photosynthesis might be due to the lower level of Cd accumulation, which in turn decreased the negative impacts of oxidative stress in plant tissues. Taken together, the findings of the study revealed that peptone is a promising plant growth regulator that represents an efficient approach for the phytoremediation of Cd-polluted soils and enhancement of spinach growth, yield, and tolerance under a Cd-dominant environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/plants9121806DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7765890PMC
December 2020

Application of abscisic acid and 6-benzylaminopurine modulated morpho-physiological and antioxidative defense responses of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) by minimizing cobalt uptake.

Chemosphere 2021 Jan 31;263:128169. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

College of Resources and Environment, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, 410128, Hunan, PR China. Electronic address:

A hydroponic study was conducted to determine the effects of single and/or combined application of different doses (0, 5 and 10 μM L) of abscisic acid (ABA) and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) on cobalt (Co) accumulation, morpho-physiological and antioxidative defense attributes of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) exposed to severe Co stress (400 μM L). The single Co treatment (T1), prominently decreased tomato growth, relative water contents, photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b), whereas enhanced oxidative stress and Co accumulation in shoot and root tissues. Nonetheless, the supplementation of ABA and 6-BAP via nutrient media significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced plant biomass, root morphology and chlorophyll contents of tomato, compared to only Co treatment (T1). Moreover, the oxidative stress indicators such as malondialdehyde, proline and HO contents were ameliorated through activation of enzymatic antioxidant activities i.e. ascorbate peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and peroxidase, in growth modulator treatments in comparison to T1. The Co uptake, translocation (TF) and bioaccumulation factor (BAF) by shoot and root tissues of tomato were significantly reduced under all the treatments than that of T1. The supply of 6-BAP alone or in combination with ABA at 10 μM L application (T7) rate was found the most effective to reduce Co accumulation in the roots and shoots by 48.4% and 70.2% respectively than T1 treatment. It can be concluded that two plant growth modulators could improve the stress tolerance by inhibition of Co uptake in tomato plants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128169DOI Listing
January 2021

Silicon mediated improvement in the growth and ion homeostasis by decreasing Na uptake in maize (Zea mays L.) cultivars exposed to salinity stress.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Jan 26;158:208-218. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad, 38000, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Silicon (Si), a major contributing constituent for plant resistance against abiotic stresses. In spite of this, the detailed mechanisms underlying the potential of Si in mitigating salt toxicity in maize (Zea mays L.) are still poorly understood. The present study deals with the response of Si application on growth, gaseous exchange, ion homeostasis and antioxidant enzyme activities in two maize cultivars (P1574 and Hycorn 11) grown under saline conditions. Salt stress remarkably reduced the plant tissue (roots and shoots) biomass, relative water contents (RWC), membrane stability index (MSI), gaseous exchange characteristics, and antioxidant enzymatic activities i.e., superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and catalase (CAT). However, salt-induced phytotoxicity increased the plant tissue concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (HO), Na/K ionic ratio, Na translocation (root to shoot), and its uptake. The detrimental effects were more prominent in Hycorn 11 cultivar than the P1574 cultivar at higher salinity level (S2; 160 mM NaCl). The addition of Si alleviated salt toxicity, which was more obvious in P1574 relative to Hycorn 11 as demonstrated by an increasing trend in RWC, MSI, and activities of SOD, POD, APX and CAT. Besides, Si-induced mitigation of salt stress was due to the depreciation in Na/K ratio, Na ion uptake at the surface of maize roots, translocation in plant tissues and thereby significantly reduced Na ion accumulation. The findings showed a new dimension regarding the beneficial role of Si in maize plants grown under salt toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.10.040DOI Listing
January 2021

Combined effect of Bacillus fortis IAGS 223 and zinc oxide nanoparticles to alleviate cadmium phytotoxicity in Cucumis melo.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Jan 12;158:1-12. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Cadmium (Cd), prevailing in most of the agricultural lands of the world contaminates food chain, thereby causing several health implications. It has become the main heavy metal contaminant in most of the agricultural lands of Pakistan due to the widespread use of phosphate fertilizers besides application of irrigation water contaminated with industrial and mining effluents. Plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) are capable to enhance growth and metal stress tolerance in supplemented plants. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) are capable to alleviate various abiotic stresses when applied to plants. During current research, the efficacy of single and combined application of Bacillus fortis IAGS 223 and ZnO-NPs was evaluated for alleviation of Cd (75 mg kg) induced phytotoxicity in Cucumis melo plants. For this purpose, C. melo plants, subjected to Cd stress were treated with B. fortis IAGS 223 and ZnO-NPs (20 mg kg), either alone or in combination. The growth relevant characteristics including photosynthetic pigments, hydrogen peroxide (HO), malondialdehyde (MDA), and activities of antioxidative enzymes as well as Zn and Cd contents in treated plants were examined. The individual application of ZnO-NPs and B. fortis IAGS 223 slightly enhanced all the above-mentioned growth characteristics in plants under Cd stress. However, the combined application of ZnO-NPs and B. fortis IAGS-223 considerably modulated the activity of antioxidant enzymes besides upgradation of the biochemicals and growth parameters of Cd stressed plants. The decreased amount of stress markers such as HO, and MDA in addition with reduction of Cd contents was observed in shoots of ZnO-NPs and B. fortis IAGS-223 applied plants. B. fortis IAGS-223 inoculated plants supplemented with ZnO-NPs, exhibited reduced amount of Cd as well as protein bound thiols and non-protein bound thiols under Cd stress. Subsequently, the reduced Cd uptake improved growth of ZnO-NPs and B. fortis IAGS-223 applied plants. Henceforth, field trials may be performed to formulate appropriate combination of ZnO-NPs and B. fortis IAGS-223 to acquire sustainable crop production under Cd stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.11.011DOI Listing
January 2021

Effect of alkaline and chemically engineered biochar on soil properties and phosphorus bioavailability in maize.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 19;266:128980. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

Phosphorous (P) fixation in alkaline calcareous soils is a serious concern worldwide and acidified-biochar application has been proposed to improve the agronomic benefits of applied P. The present study aims to improve understanding of P transformation process in an alkaline soil following different biochar amendments (rice-husk biochar (RHB), sugarcane-bagasse biochar (SWB) and wheat-straw biochar (WSB)), chemically engineered (acidification with 1 N HCl or washing with distilled water (pristine biochar)) along with or without P at 60 mg kg. A pot experiment was conducted with three biochars (RHB, SWB, WSB) and control, two chemical modifications (acidic and pristine), and two P-levels (without or with P). A pot study by growing spring maize and a parallel incubation study were done to test the treatment effects on P transformation. Results demonstrated that acidified SBC and WSB increased the plant P uptake and dry-matter yield by 40% and 29.7%, respectively, with P-supply. Both pristine or acidified RHB produced 80.5% and 110.7%, more root dry-matter, respectively, compared to respective controls without P. Non-acidified WSB along with P showed significantly higher Olson's P in incubation study. While in case of acidification along with P addition, RHB exhibited greater P availability, but it was inconsistent at different times during incubation. It can be concluded that acidified biochar amendments have potential to improve P management with inconsistent results. It is difficult to rule out that acidification of biochars is a pre-requisite for alkaline soils for P improvement. Further research is needed to explore site-specific P management for sustainable crop production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128980DOI Listing
March 2021

Silver nanoparticles improved the plant growth and reduced the sodium and chlorine accumulation in pearl millet: a life cycle study.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Mar 16;28(11):13712-13724. Epub 2020 Nov 16.

Department of Grassland Science, Animal Science and Technology College, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, 611130, China.

Salt stress in agricultural soils is a global issue and little information is available about the efficiency of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in plants under salt stress. The aim of current study was to assess the efficacy of AgNPs in improving plant growth and reducing the salt-induced damages in pearl millet. The exposure of pearl millet plants grown in pots containing soil to different doses of salinity (0, 120, 150 mM) and AgNPs (0, 10, 20 and 30 mM) significantly influenced the morphology, physiology and yield-related attributes. Salt stress remarkably increased the concentration of sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) in different organs of pearl millet plants. This led to increase the enhancement of hydrogen peroxide (HO) and malondialdehyde (MDA) content and caused severe oxidative damage by augmenting the activities of antioxidant enzymes. The obvious decrease in plant growth, height, dry biomass of root and shoot, chlorophylls and carotenoid contents was observed in salt-stressed plants which ultimately reduced the yield of plants. The AgNPs remarkably improved the plant growth by reducing oxidative stress and Na and Cl uptake by salt-stressed plants. The AgNPs were also found to maintain the ionic balance of cell (Na, K and Na/K ratio). The AgNPs improved the superoxide dismutase, catalase activities and decreased the peroxidase activity while reduced the HO and MDA contents in plants under salt stress. Overall, AgNPs increased the plant height, yield, and photosynthesis of salt-stressed plants in a dose-additive manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-11612-3DOI Listing
March 2021

Boron supply alleviates cadmium toxicity in rice (Oryza sativa L.) by enhancing cadmium adsorption on cell wall and triggering antioxidant defense system in roots.

Chemosphere 2021 Mar 10;266:128938. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-bioresources, Root Biology Center, College of Natural Resources and Environment, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, 510642, Guangdong, PR China. Electronic address:

Cadmium (Cd) pollution is a key concern globally that affects plant growth and productivity. Boron (B) is a micronutrient that helps in the formation of the primary cell wall (CW) and alleviates negative effects of toxic elements on plant growth. Nonetheless, knowledge about how B can reduce Cd toxicity in rice seedlings is not enough, particularly regarding CW-Cd adsorption. Therefore, the current experiment investigated the alleviative role of B on Cd toxicity in rice seedling. The experiment was carried out with 0 μM and 30 μM HBO under 50 μM Cd toxicity in hydroponics. The results showed that Cd exposure alone inhibited plant growth parameters and caused lipid peroxidation. Moreover, Cd toxicity led to obvious visible toxicity symptoms on the leaves. However, increasing the availability of B alleviated Cd toxicity by reducing Cd concentration in plant tissues and improving antioxidative system. Moreover, cell wall pectin and hemicellulose adsorbed a significant amount of Cd. Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra exhibited that cell wall functional groups were increased by B application. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis confirmed the higher Cd binding onto CW. The findings of this investigation showed that B could mitigate Cd stress by decreasing Cd uptake and encouraging Cd adsorption on CW, and activation of the protective mechanisms. The present results might help to increase rice productivity on Cd polluted soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128938DOI Listing
March 2021