Arsenite efflux is not enhanced in the arsenate-tolerant phenotype of Holcus lanatus


Author for correspondence:
F. J. Zhao
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  • • Arsenate tolerance in Holcus lanatus is achieved mainly through suppressed arsenate uptake. We recently showed that plant roots can rapidly efflux arsenite to the external medium. Here, we tested whether arsenite efflux is a component of the adaptive arsenate tolerance in H. lanatus.
  • • Tolerant and nontolerant phenotypes were exposed to different arsenate concentrations with or without phosphate for 24 h, and arsenic (As) speciation was determined in nutrient solutions, roots and xylem sap.
  • • At the same arsenate exposure concentration, the nontolerant phenotype took up more arsenate and effluxed more arsenite than the tolerant phenotype. However, arsenite efflux was proportional to arsenate uptake and was not enhanced in the tolerant phenotype. Within 2–24 h, most (80–100%) of the arsenate taken up was effluxed to the medium as arsenite. About 86–95% of the As in the roots and majority of the As in xylem sap (c. 66%) was present as arsenite, and there were no significant differences between phenotypes.
  • • Arsenite efflux is not adaptively enhanced in the tolerant phenotype H. lanatus, but it could be a basal tolerance mechanism to greatly decrease cellular As burden in both phenotypes. Tolerant and nontolerant phenotypes had a similar capacity to reduce arsenate in roots.