Project R-5465


Cadmium-induced endoreduplication in Arabidopsis thaliana (Research)


Environmental metal pollution affects many regions worldwide. When present in the soil, cadmium (Cd) can be taken up by plants and accumulate in the food chain. Therefore, increasing our knowledge on the mechanisms underlying Cd toxicity in plants is crucial to face Cd pollution and its consequences. Cadmium exposure leads to an oxidative challenge in Arabidopsis thaliana, affecting the levels and redox state of the antioxidative metabolites ascorbate (AsA) and glutathione (GSH). In addition, it triggers endoreduplication, an alternative form of the cell cycle with DNA replication occurring without cell division, resulting in altered nuclear ploidy levels. Both Cd-induced effects on AsA and GSH and endoreduplication can contribute to its impact on plant growth and development. Therefore, this project investigates the correlation between Cd-induced effects on (1) plant growth and development, (2) AsA and GSH and (3) endoreduplication in A. thaliana. To explore underlying mechanisms of Cd-induced endoreduplication, cellular processes (oxidative challenge, DNA damage, cell cycle regulation) and intercellular ethylene signaling are investigated using different mutants. Finally, the physiological significance of Cd-induced endoreduplication is studied in both short-term (within one generation) and long-term (transgenerational) settings.

Period of project

01 October 2014 - 30 September 2018