Functioning of the photosynthetic apparatus and metabolic and microbial defence systems in metallicolous and nonmetallicolous ecotypes of Dianthus carthusianorum L. exposed to lead, cadmium and excess zinc (Research)
Due to microevolution and natural selection some plant species adapted to grow on metal polluted soils. They are ideal models to study mechanisms of adaptation. This project aims to reveal the basis of the enhanced metal tolerance of Dianthus carthusianorum L. ecotypes from metal polluted soils. In particular, the responses of the photosynthetic apparatus to metal stress in terms of its anatomy ((ultra-)structure) and functioning will be compared between ecotypes from non-polluted and polluted soils. Under metal stress photosynthesis may be disrupted resulting in the generation of oxidative stress causing deleterious effects not only to the photosynthetic machinery but also to the whole cell. Therefore, the level of oxidative stress as well as the capacity of the defence systems against this stress will be investigated. Moreover, stress induced alterations of cell walls will be examined. So far, the efficiency of photosynthesis under metal exposure and related other metabolic disturbances have never been studied in this species. Further, microbial communities of rhizosphere and root and shoot-endosphere will be compared between the ecotypes from non-polluted and polluted soils. In addition, isolated strains will be screened for their metal tolerance and plant-growth promoting traits. The performed multifaceted and comprehensive research will provide important information on mechanisms of D. carthusianorum tolerance under acute and chronic metal stress conditions.
Period of project
01 January 2019 - 31 March 2023