Project R-5176


Cadmium-induced responses in Arabidopsis thaliana: oxidative stress related to the effects at the mitochondrial level (Research)


Our environment is poluted with heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd), which are present in soil, air, water and sediments. This leads to a reduction in the worldwide production of biomass and related economic losses. In plants, exposure to Cd at the cellular level may induce oxidative stress.This condition can result in cellular damage and/or signaling. Mitochondria, being stress sensitive, should play an important role in these circumstances. The aim of this project is to study the relation between oxidative stress and its effects (cellular damage and/or signaling) and the eventual role of the mitochondria in these processes. To this end the model organism Arabidopsis Thaliana will be exposed to different Cd-concentrations for 24 or 72 hours. The project consists of three work packages. First, the different Cd concentrations will be determined that will induce significant effects on biochemical and/or macro/microscopic level (range finding). These sublethal concentrations are then used to determine the oxidative stress signature of both intact plants and cell cultures. Finally the eventual role of the mitochondria in Cd-induced cellular stress responses will be investigated. Structural and functional consequences will be studies, where in addition mitochondrial gene- and protein expression profiles will be prepared to determine which components are influenced by Cd exposure.

Period of project

01 October 2009 - 30 September 2014