Boron toxicity tolerance mediated by H2 during rice seed germination

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Boron (B) is essential for plant growth, but hazardous when present in excess. Hydrogen gas (H2) possesses antioxidant properties. Wang et al. investigate B-induced biological responses during rice (Oryza sativa) seed germination to study the beneficial role of H2.

Changes in endogenous H2 production and the alleviation of growth inhibition induced by excess boron mediated by H2.
Changes in endogenous H2 production and the alleviation of growth inhibition induced by excess boron mediated by H2. Rice seeds were presoaked in water in the presence or absence of 0·39 mm H2 for 24 h and then transferred to water (→H2O) or 10 mm H3BO3 solution (→B). Hydrogen production in rice seedlings (A), fresh weight (B) and dry weight (C) were measured after 24 or 72 h of the different treatments. Whole (D) and selected phenotypes (E) were photographed after 72 h of the treatments. Scale bar = 1 cm. Values are means ± s.e. of three independent experiments with at least three replicates for each. Different letters and * denote differences significant at P < 0·05 according to Duncan’s multiple comparison test.

In addition to the capacity of H2 to re-establish equilibrium where there is a reactive oxygen species (ROS) imbalance, H2 tolerance to B toxicity is shown to result in improved root elongation and water status, up-regulation of genes encoding specific aquaporins (AQPs) and reduced B accumulation. The increased transcription of representative AQPs genes and BOR2 along with the decreased BOR1 mRNA may further contribute to lowering B accumulation.

Reference

Wang, Y., Duan, X., Xu, S., Wang, R., Ouyang, Z., & Shen, W. (2016). Linking hydrogen-mediated boron toxicity tolerance with improvement of root elongation, water status and reactive oxygen species balance: a case study for rice. Annals of Botany, 118(7), 1279–1291. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw181


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