1Department of Crop Production and Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
2Biotechnology Department, School of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran
The present study was conducted to find the effect of three heavy metals, Ag, Hg and Pb on the expression level of a gene encoding plasma membrane H+-ATPase in Aeluropus littoralis. The experiment was laid out in a completely random design with three replications. The expression of the main gene was normalized to the expression of the housekeeping gene actin. Two 259 and 187 bp fragments were amplified from plasma membrane H+-ATPase and actin genes using specific primers in polymerase chain reactions. The results indicated that higher concentrations of all three heavy metals declined the expression of plasma membrane H+-ATPase gene, whereas low concentrations changed the level of its transcript differently. A significant linear correlation was found between Ag concentrations of Aeluropus littoralis shoots and its external level; however, for Hg and Pb no correlations were observed. Root weight decreased when plants were grown at both concentrations of Ag and Hg but increased at both concentrations of Pb and NaCl. Maximum root weight was observed under lower levels of Pb, while maximum shoot weight was observed under lower levels of Hg. The greatest plant weight was obtained at low concentrations of Hg and Pb. Taken together these results show the regulation of plasma membrane H+-ATPase gene by heavy metals suggesting that Aeluropus littoralis can be regarded as a Phytoremediation accumulator of soils polluted with heavy metals.
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