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Phytochemistry. 2009 Jul-Aug;70(11-12):1421-7. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Mycorrhization alleviates benzo[a]pyrene-induced oxidative stress in an in vitro chicory root model.

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Univ Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France.


Among chemicals that are widely spread both in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, benzo[a]pyrene is a major source of concern. However, little is known about its adverse effects on plants, as well as about the role of mycorrhization in protection of plant grown in benzo[a]pyrene-polluted conditions. Hence, to contribute to a better understanding of the adverse effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the partners of mycorrhizal symbiotic association, benzo[a]pyrene-induced oxidative stress was studied in transformed Cichorium intybus roots grown in vitro and colonized or not by Glomus intraradices. The arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus development (colonization, extraradical hyphae length, and spore formation) was significantly reduced in response to increasing concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene (35-280 microM). The higher length of arbuscular mycorrhizal roots, compared to non-arbuscular mycorrhizal roots following benzo[a]pyrene exposure, pointed out a lower toxicity of benzo[a]pyrene in arbuscular mycorrhizal roots, thereby suggesting protection of the roots by mycorrhization. Accordingly, in benzo[a]pyrene-exposed arbuscular mycorrhizal roots, statistically significant decreases were observed in malondialdehyde concentration and 8-hydroxy-2'-desoxyguanosine formation. The higher superoxide dismutase activity detected in mycorrhizal chicory roots could explain the benzo[a]pyrene tolerance of the colonized roots. Taken together, these results support an essential role of mycorrhizal fungi in protecting plants submitted to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, notably by reducing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-induced oxidative stress damage.

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