Copper toxicity in Chinese cabbage is not influenced by plant sulphur status, but affects sulphur metabolism-related gene expression and the suggested regulatory metabolites

Authors

  • M. Shahbaz,

    1. Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
    2. Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
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  • C. E. E. Stuiver,

    1. Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
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  • F. S. Posthumus,

    1. Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
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  • S. Parmar,

    1. Plant Biology and Crop Science Department, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
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  • M. J. Hawkesford,

    1. Plant Biology and Crop Science Department, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK
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  • L. J. De Kok

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
    • Correspondence

      L. J. De Kok, Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Centre of Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 11103, 9700 CC Groningen, the Netherlands.

      E-mail: l.j.de.kok@rug.nl

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Abstract

The toxicity of high copper (Cu) concentrations in the root environment of Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis) was little influenced by the sulphur nutritional status of the plant. However, Cu toxicity removed the correlation between sulphur metabolism-related gene expression and the suggested regulatory metabolites. At high tissue Cu levels, there was no relation between sulphur metabolite levels viz. total sulphur, sulphate and water-soluble non-protein thiols, and the expression and activity of sulphate transporters and expression of APS reductase under sulphate-sufficient or-deprived conditions, in the presence or absence of H2S. This indicated that the regulatory signal transduction pathway of sulphate transporters was overruled or by-passed upon exposure to elevated Cu concentrations.

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