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Overexpression of auxin response gene MdIAA24 enhanced cadmium tolerance in apple (Malus domestica)

Qian Wang, Dong Huang, Dongshan Niu, Jie Deng, Fengwang Ma, Changhai Liu

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112734

Abstract

Cadmium (Cd), a phytotoxic heavy metal accumulated in plants and fruits, has significant adverse effects on plant growth and development as well as human health. In particular, Cd pollution has become a serious agricultural issue in recent years. Apple is one of the most popular fruits consumed at the global scale. Improving apple Cd resistance via reductions in Cd absorption can benefit apple tree growth and ensure fruit safety. In this study, we determined that, under the 200 μM Cd treatment, 35S::MdIAA24 apple plants exhibited more biomass and less Cd accumulation in the tested tissues compared to wild type (WT). Furthermore, the 35S::MdIAA24 apple plants demonstrated more favorable photosynthesis characteristics, less reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a greater amount of active antioxidant enzymes under the Cd condition than WT. The expression levels of the Cd uptake genes were observed to be lower in the 35S::MdIAA24 apple plants compared with those of the WT under the Cd treatment. The results highlight the ability of the overexpression of MdIAA24 to enhance apple Cd resistance by improving antioxidant capacity and reducing Cd absorption.