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Role of phytochelatin and metallothionein in phytoremediation of heavy metals by Aloe vera L.(Aloe barbadensis Miller)

Authors : Pratik Talukder



Plants, though sessile, have various enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant systems which help them in combating metaltoxicity and various other abiotic stresses. Metallothioneins (MTs) as well as phytochelatins (PCs) act as metal chelators. In the present investigation, a comparative study on the role of MTs and PCs in combating zinc induced oxidative stress in Aloebarbadensi was carried out. Seedlings were exposed to various sub-lethal doses of zinc and were grown for a period of one month. Relative expression of these genes was studied by RT and Q PCR and the presence of major secondary metabolitesand phytochelatins was measured by High Performance Liquid Chromatographic (HPLC) technique. In both the cases, it was observed that 800 M of zinc treatment is the highest dose that the plants can withstand. A sharp decrease in the expression of the genes was observed under high level of metal toxicity. Results of this study proves that phytochelatin and metallothionein function in a coordinated way to chelate, detoxify and play significant role in bioremediation of transition metals such as zinc.


Zinc (Zn), Aloe barbadensis, zinc, phytoremediation, phytochelatin, metallothionein