The effects of heavy metals, both toxic (Pb, Cd) and essential (Cu, Zn) on the ultrastructure and the induction of Heat Shock Protein 70 (HSP70) have been studied in the aquatic moss Leptodictyum Riparium Hedw. In vitro cultured L. riparium was treated with different heavy
metals, both toxic, as cadmium or lead; and essential microelements such as Copper or Zinc concentrations ranging from 10−3 to 10−6 M to investigate both ultrastructural damage and HSP induction. TEM observations showed that sub-lethal concentrations of heavy
metals caused only slight changes, largely localized in the chloroplasts. Among all the heavy metals tested, cadmium caused the most severe modifications. Heavy metals caused the decrease of the soluble protein content and the enhancement of proteins reacting versus HSP70 antibodies, suggesting
that molecular chaperons might be involved in the resistance to toxic effects of lead, cadmium, copper and zinc. Therefore, the induction of HSP70 in L. riparium would confer a higher resistance to pollutants under stressful conditions lethal for other mosses and higher plant species.
These results suggest that the moss L. riparium can tolerate heavy metals stress without incurring severe cellular/subcellular damage. Therefore it can be used as a useful indicator of heavy metals accumulation.
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heavy metals pollution
Document Type: Research Article
Dipartimento di Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale – Università di Napoli “Federico II”, Naples, Italy
Centro Interdipartimentale di Servizio per la Microscopia Elettronica C.I.S.M.E.,Università di Napoli “Federico II”, Naples, Italy
Dipartimento delle Scienze Biologiche – Sezione di Biologia Vegetale,Università di Napoli “Federico II”, Naples, Italy
Publication date: April 1, 2012