Alleviation of chromium toxicity by hydrogen sulfide in barley


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A hydroponic experiment was carried out to examine the effect of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in alleviating chromium (Cr) stress in barley. A 2-factorial design with 6 replications was selected, including 3 levels of NaHS (0 μM, 100 μM, and 200 μM) and 2 levels of Cr (0 μM and 100 μM) as treatments. The results showed that NaHS addition enhances plant growth and photosynthesis slightly compared with the control. Moreover, NaHS alleviated the inhibition in plant growth and photosynthesis by Cr stress. Higher levels of NaHS exhibited more pronounced effects in reducing Cr concentrations in roots, shoots, and leaves. Ultrastructural examination of plant cells supported the facts by indication of visible alleviation of cell disorders in both root and leaf with exogenous application of NaHS. An increased number of plastoglobuli, disintegration, and disappearance of thylakoid membranes and starch granules were visualized inside the chloroplast of Cr-stressed plants. Starch accumulation in the chloroplasts was also noticed in the Cr-treated cells, with the effect being much less in Cr + NaHS-treated plants. Hence, it is concluded that H2S produced from NaHS can improve plant tolerance under Cr stress. Environ Toxicol Chem 2013;32:2234–2239. © 2013 SETAC