The physiological responses of the arsenic-hyperaccumulator, Pteris vittata, such as arsenic uptake and chemical transformation in the fern, have been investigated. However, a few questions remain regarding arsenic treatment in hydroponics. Incubation conditions such as aeration, arsenic concentration, and incubation period might affect those responses of P. vittata in hydroponics. Arsenite uptake was low under anaerobic conditions, as previously reported. However, in an arsenite uptake experiment, phosphorous (P) starvation-dependent uptake of arsenate was observed under aerobic conditions. Time course-dependent analysis of arsenite oxidation showed that arsenite was gradually oxidized to arsenate during incubation. Arsenite oxidation was not observed in any of the control conditions, such as exposure to a nutrient solution or to culture medium only, or with the use of dried root; arsenite oxidation was only observed when live root was used. This result suggests that sufficient aeration allows the rhizosphere system to oxidize arsenite and enables the fern to efficiently take up arsenite as arsenate. X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) analyses showed that long-duration exposure to arsenic using a hydroponic system led to the accumulation of arsenate as the dominant species in the root tips, but not in the whole roots, partly because up-regulation of arsenate uptake by P starvation of the fern was caused and retained by long-time incubation. Analysis of concentration-dependent arsenate uptake by P. vittata showed that the uptake switched from a high-affinity transport system to a low-affinity system at high arsenate concentrations, which partially explains the increased arsenate abundance in the whole root.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology