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J Exp Bot. 2011 Jun;62(10):3433-47. doi: 10.1093/jxb/err015. Epub 2011 Feb 28.

Interaction between selected bacterial strains and Arabidopsis halleri modulates shoot proteome and cadmium and zinc accumulation.

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Dipartimento di Biotecnologie, Università di Verona, Strada Le Grazie 15, I-37134 Verona, Italy.


The effects of plant-microbe interactions between the hyperaccumulator Arabidopsis halleri and eight bacterial strains, isolated from the rhizosphere of A. halleri plants grown in a cadmium- and zinc-contaminated site, were analysed for shoot metal accumulation, shoot proteome, and the transcription of genes involved in plant metal homeostasis and hyperaccumulation. Cadmium and zinc concentrations were lower in the shoots of plants cultivated in the presence of these metals plus the selected bacterial strains compared with plants grown solely with these metals or, as previously reported, with plants grown with these metals plus the autochthonous rhizosphere-derived microorganisms. The shoot proteome of plants cultivated in the presence of these selected bacterial strains plus metals, showed an increased abundance of photosynthesis- and abiotic stress-related proteins (e.g. subunits of the photosynthetic complexes, Rubisco, superoxide dismutase, and malate dehydrogenase) counteracted by a decreased amount of plant defence-related proteins (e.g. endochitinases, vegetative storage proteins, and β-glucosidase). The transcription of several homeostasis genes was modulated by the microbial communities and by Cd and Zn content in the shoot. Altogether these results highlight the importance of plant-microbe interactions in plant protein expression and metal accumulation and emphasize the possibility of exploiting microbial consortia for increasing or decreasing shoot metal content.

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