Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências (2017) 89(1): 163-174 (Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences) Printed version ISSN 0001-3765 / Online version ISSN 1678-2690 http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201720160320 www.scielo.br/aabc

Effect of on uptake and in cultivars differing in phosphorus use efficiency and response


1Departamento de Biologia, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Exatas, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, 97105-900 Santa Maria, RS, Brazil 2Institute for Global Security, Queen’s University Belfast, David Keir Building, Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 5BN, Northern Ireland

Manuscript received on July 14, 2016; accepted for publication on September 27, 2016

ABSTRACT A hydroponic experiment was carried out to investigate the effect of phosphorus (P) on arsenic (As) uptake and translocation within the seedlings of rice cultivars. The experiment occurred in three stages: I 5 days of acclimatization (nutritive solution); II 10 days under P (0.0 and 0.09 mM) and As (0.0 and 100 mM) treatments; III 5 days under recovery. The As exposure had significant effect reducing dry weights of shoots or , resulted in elevated concentrations of As in shoot tissues. BR-IRGA 409 showed the highest susceptibility to As in biomass production and system parameters regardless the P level. This cultivar showed contrasting responses of As translocation to shoot tissue dependent on P levels, with the highest As concentration under low P and lowest under normal P levels. P nutrition was most striking on recovery for all cultivars under As exposure. Clearer separation of cultivars for phosphorus use efficiency (PUE) occurred at lower shoot P contents, that was, at higher levels of P deficiency stress. IRGA 424 showed higher PUE as compared to the others cultivars. Our results go some way to understanding the role of P nutrition in controlling the effects of As in rice shoots. Key words: nutrition, Oryza sativa, , Arsenic uptake.

INTRODUCTION substances compiled by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) (ATSDR, 2011). Arsenic (As) is a toxic and carcinogenic element Rice, an important , is considered to that occurs widely in environments around the be a major source of As in the human (Mondal world. Soil contamination with As occurs through and Polya 2008, Liang et al. 2010, Carey et al. 2015, natural and anthropogenic pathways (Meharg and Otero et al. 2016). There is therefore an urgent MacNair 1992, Meharg and Rahman 2003). Arsenic need to develop mitigation measures to reduce is known to have many toxic effects in humans As concentrations in rice. However, not much and is ranked first, in the priority list of hazardous attention has being given to management

Correspondence to: Júlia Gomes Farias and its relationship with As accumulation in rice E-mail: [email protected] grains. Furthermore, there still lack of information

An Acad Bras Cienc (2017) 89 (1) 164 JÚLIA G. FARIAS et al. regarding As concentration in Brazilian rice, solution containing the macronutrients considering the different field managements that 0.18 mM (NH4)2SO4, 0.27 mM MgSO4.7H2O, occurs in the country and rice cultivars. 0.09 mM KNO3, 0.18 mM Ca(NO3)2.4H2O, and Phosphorus (P) is a critical element required 0.09 mM P2O5 and the micronutrients 20 μM for optimum growth, and is essential for NaEDTA-Fe.3H2O, 6.7 μM MnCl2.4H2O, 9.4 μM sustainable production of food across the globe. H3BO3, 0.015 μM (NH4)6Mo7O24.4H2O, 0.15 μM As such, agricultural production consumes 90% ZnSO4.7H2O, and 0.16 μM CuSO4.5H2O. The pH of non- renewable rock phosphate reserves mined was adjusted to 5.5, and the solution was renewed each year to supply P to crops and pastures (Cordell every two days in a controlled environment. et al. 2009). As the world’s population increases The solution culture experiment was carried and high-grade rock phosphate resources decline, out in three stages (Figure 1). At stage I, all there is a growing need to improve the efficiency seedlings were grown in full nutrient solution (+ of P use (PUE) at the plant and whole farm scale (Simpson et al. 2011). P) and without As (-As) during 5 days. At stage Moreover, to mitigate As stress, plants may II, half of the seedlings were rinsed three times modulate pathways to maintain a minimal cellular with deionized water and transferred to pots concentration (Bleeker et al. 2006); the adaptive containing nutrient solution without phosphorus capacity of each genotype, including mineral (–P), and the remaining seedlings were grown in nutrition and As translocation and remobilization +P solution. Then, half of each seedlings had may be the key to cope As stress. Thus PUE has As added in the nutrient solution as Na AsO ·12 3 4 become topical in recent times, showing potential H O (+As) under the concentration of 100 mM. 2 for a better management in agricultural systems, This stage lasted 10 days. Stage III, half of +P and and in this study we aimed evaluated its relationship –P seedlings with and without As exposure were with As tolerance. collected (25 plants per replicate, each treatment consisted of 4 replicates) randomly harvested and MATERIALS AND METHODS separated into shoots and roots. Thus, the remain PLANT MATERIALS AND GROWTH CONDITIONS plants were rinsed three times with deionized water and transferred to pots containing complete nutrient Rice seeds of the indica variety were obtained solution (+P) and without As (-As) This stage from IRGA (Instituto Rio Grandense do Arroz), lasted 5 days. All remain plants were collected (25 Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The seeds of three rice plants per replicate, each treatment consisted of 4 cultivars used in Southern Brazil, BR/IRGA 409, replicates) and separated into shoots (Figure 1). IRGA 423 and IRGA 424, were used in this study. The seeds were soaked in distilled water at 25 °C TISSUE ELEMENTS ANALYSIS in the dark for 24 hours. The pre-germinated seeds were transferred to plastic pots lined with filter Arsenic speciation - The roots and shoot of paper placed in partially enclosed growth chambers; seedlings were oven-dried at 65 °C to a constant these pots were then irrigated with distilled water for the determination of biomass and then for ten days. weighed accurately to a weight of 0.1 g into 50 ml polypropylene centrifuge tubes to which 2 ml of HYDROPONIC EXPERIMENT 1% conc. Aristar nitric was added and allowed After ten days in distilled water, the seedlings to sit overnight. Batches of up to 48 samples were transferred to plastic pots containing 8 L of were prepared which also included 2 blanks and


2 rice CRM (NIST 1568b Rice flour) that has the then microwave digested in an CEM 6 o arsenic species Asi and dimethylyarsonic acid instrument for 30 min. at 95 C using a 3 stage (DMA) concentrations certified. Samples where slow heating program: to 55 oC in 5 min. held for

Figure 1 - Practical scheme of the experimental design used in this study (see the colors in the online version).

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o 10 min., to 75 C in 5 min., held for 10 min. to P uptake (TP ); phosphorus use efficiency (PUE), 95 oC in 5 min., held for 30 minutes). The digestate, according to Wissuwa et al. (2015); roots and on cooling, was accurately diluted to 10 ml with shoots were calculated as follows: deionized distilled water and centrifuged at 3,500 TP = TRoot-P + TShoot-P rpm for 15 min. T = C 尠 Roots A 1 ml aliquot was transferred to a 2 ml Root-P Root-P biomass polypropylene vial and 10 µl of analytical grade TShoot-P = CShoot-P 尠 Shoots biomass peroxide was added to convert any PUE = (T /Shoot ) (Wissuwa et arsenite to to facilitate subsequent Shoot-P biomass al. 2015). chromatographic detection. For multi-element analysis by ICP-MS, a more aggressive digestion RESULTS AND DISCUSSION procedure (heat to 95 oC in 5 min. hold for 10 min. to 135 oC then hold for 10 min., to 180 oC The present study demonstrated that exposure to then hold for 30 min.) was employed, with 2 ml higher levels of As led to a decrease in biomass of concentrated Aristar nitric acid and left to soak production for both shoot and root tissues of rice overnight before microwaving. After microwaving, plants during the vegetative development stage, as 2 ml of hydrogen peroxide was added. Blanks was previously reported by others authors (Geng et and CRM NIST 1568b, which is certified for both al. 2009, Bhattacharya et al. 2010) (Figure 2). Overall, regardless the P level or As exposure, arsenic speciation (Asi and DMA) and for a range of trace and macro elements, were included in each the cultivar IRGA 424 had higher values of root batch of 48 samples analyzed. and shoot dry weight as well as total root length and Phosphorus quantification- Oven-dried number of root tips as compared to BR-IRGA 409; samples were ground and digested with 4 ml of while IRGA 423 seems to be in an intermediate condition between the other two cultivars (Figure concentrated HNO3. Sample was performed using a heating Velp Scientifica 2, Figure 3). (Milano, Italy) at 130 °C for 2 h. Plastic caps were The maintenance of substantial root system fitted to the vessels to prevent losses by volatiliza- as well as leaf production may be the key to cope tion. The concentration was determined by induc- different stress situations, i.e. nutritional stress or tively coupled plasma optical emission spectrom- exposure to non essential toxic elements. In the etry (ICP-OES) using a PerkinElmer Optima 4300 case of nutritional stress, as the lack of an essential DV (SHELTON, USA) equipped with a cyclonic element, the plant metabolism is directly affected; however, the effects and time of appearance of the spray chamber and a concentric nebulizer. first symptoms vary among different elements and DATA ANALYSIS plant species (Marschner 1995). Although P is an essential element to all higher After the of exposure, the roots were digitized plants, in the present study, when evaluated without with the aid of a scanner Epson 11000 XL and As presence, cultivars had distinct response to P analysis was performed with the aid of WinRhizo levels. BR-IRGA 409 showed deficient symptoms Pro Software, which uses the first method proposed in root system in a short period of exposure (10 by Tennant (1975), for determining the total root days), with lower root dry weight and total root length and root tips. length under P starvation, while IRGA 423 and Element concentrations in, roots and shoots IRGA 424 were not affected (Figure 2, Figure 3). were calculated on the basis of dry weight. Total On the other hand, under As exposure, overall P


Figure 2 - Biomass and root system parameters of rice plants of three cultivars exposed to 100 μM arsenic and without arsenic, with phosphorus 0.09 mM and without phosphorus in nutrient solution. Means followed by capital letters indicate comparison between cultivars within the same phosphorus and arsenic levels, whereas lowercase letters indicate comparison of the arsenic exposure for the same cultivars and phosphorus level and asterisk indicate comparison between phosphorus levels for the same cultivar and arsenic exposure. Tukey test, α = 0.05.

presence did not alter BR-IRGA 409 development, most striking on plants recovery for all cultivars but the presence of P had a positive effect in all under As exposure, but more pronounced in BR- tested parameters (root and shoot dry weight, total IRGA 409, with only 8% of total root length root length and number of root tips) for IRGA 424 increment after 5 days under recovery (complete (Figure 2). nutritive solution without As presence) in plants BR-IRGA 409 susceptibility to As was higher with the prior treatment –P and 70% with the prior than its response to P, once the presence of P wasn’t treatment +P respectively (Figure 3). enough to mitigate the As effects on plant growth The increment on mineral nutrition also (Figure 2, Figure 3). Interestingly, P nutrition was mitigate toxic effects of other elements, through

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Figure 3 - Effect of phosphorus levels with or without arsenic exposure in rice plants on total root length increment (percentage inside the box) of plants after five days in control solution, recovery stage (see the colors in the online version).

An Acad Bras Cienc (2017) 89 (1) EFFECT OF PHOSPHORUS ON ARSENIC UPTAKE AND METABOLISM 169 complexation and tissue dilution, once the nutrition exploitable reserves would occur sometime in the results in plant mass increase (Marschner 1995). next 60–130 years. However, P starvation combined with As exposure The tissue P concentrations varied considerably resulted in a very drastic biomass reduction, and among the genotypes under P supply, with IRGA this stress was almost irreversible for BR-IRGA 424 showing the lowest levels in root tissue and the 409 cultivar under the tested system. highest in shoot tissue and the opposite pattern for The P requirement for optimal growth is in BR-IRGA 409 (Figure 2). On the other hand, there the range of 0.3-0.5% of plant dry mater during was no difference in root and shoot P concentration the vegetative stage of growth (Marschner 1995). among the tested cultivars under P starvation In our experiment, P starvation was used to (Figure 6). manipulate the P nutrition of rice plants grown in Improvements in the efficiency of P nutrition solution culture. Phosphorus concentrations in –P of crops will come from a variety of potential plants were significantly lower than those in +P sources, including changes in fertilizer technology, plants, and P concentrations in –P plants were at improvements in exploiting soil , and deficiency levels while +P were at range suggested better fertilizer management practices, as well as for optimal growth (Figure 2). The results of the genetic improvement. The widespread realization present study indicated that rice genotypes had that improvements in P nutrition are crucial to the different nutrient partitioning requirements (Figure future need to raise global agricultural production 2). The results also indicated that the nutrient status has resulted in several recent reviews that have and distribution varied with the amount of As explored these different opportunities (Hinsinger added. 2001, McNeill and Penfold 2009, Richardson et Significant differences in nutrient concentra- al. 2009, Ryan et al. 2009, McLaughlin et al. 2011, tions among different cultivars could be the result Simpson et al. 2011, Rowe et al. 2016). of differences in the removal of As from the system The marked susceptibility of rice plants to As among these genotypes, as well as development of may be due to a small biomass, which results in high As tolerance and adaptations to other stressful con- As concentration in plant tissue, leading to toxic ditions (Tu and Ma 2003, Panda et al. 2010, Zheng As levels that drastically affect plant development et al. 2013, Otero et al. 2016). (Farooq et al. 2016). Thus, BR/IRGA 409 cultivar Due to the diverse functional and structural which had a high susceptibility to As and is well roles of P in plants, P-use efficiency (PUE) is known for its susceptibility to excess levels of a complex trait to dissect. P-use efficiency has Fe (Stein et al. 2009), had the lowest As tissue become topical in recent times for several reasons. concentrations in shoots under normal P supply There were large price increases during the last as compared to the other cultivars (Figure 4). On decades, and high prices are likely to continue in the other hand under P starvation this cultivar had the future. Coincidentally, the concept of ‘peak P’ over 35% higher As concentration in shoot tissue as has gained some attention in the media, which has compared to IRGA 423 and 424 (Figure 4). drawn attention to the environmental, economic, Arsenite (As(III)) is the dominant As species in and social problems that might arise due to limited reducing environments such as flooded paddy P reserves (Cordell et al. 2009, Lott et al. 2009). (Marin et al. 1993, Takahashi et al. 2004, Xu et al. Unlike (N), the amount of P available for 2008). Thermodynamically, reduction of arsenate use in ag riculture is finite. Steen (1998) estimated to arsenite can occur quite readily at intermediate that the depletion of current economically potentials (Inskeep et al. 2002). Flooding of

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accumulation to toxic levels. Clearer separation of genotypes for PUE occurred at lower shoot P contents, that was, at higher levels of P deficiency stress (Figure 5).

Figure 4 - Inorganic arsenic (Asi) concentration in shoot tissues of BR-IRGA 409, IRGA 423 and IRGA 424 cultivars under phosphorus starvation (-P) and normal supply (+P). Means followed by capital letters indicate comparison between cultivars within the same phosphorus and arsenic levels, whereas asterisk indicate comparison between phosphorus levels for the same cultivar and arsenic exposure. Tukey test, α = 0.05. Figure 5 - Means followed by capital letters indicate paddy soils to mobilization of arsenite into comparison between cultivars within the same phosphorus and the soil solution and enhanced As bioavailability to arsenic levels, whereas lowercase letters indicate comparison of the arsenic exposure for the same cultivars and phosphorus rice plants (Xu et al. 2008). level and asterisk indicate comparison between phosphorus We also have to consider metabolic transfor- levels for the same cultivar and arsenic exposure. Tukey test, mations of rice inside plant once it is absorbed α = 0.05. by roots. In this view even though arsenite is the mainly As available form to rice plants under pad- Attempts to improve the P efficiency of dy system, in grains there is a large range of dif- cropping systems through have ferent As species (Meharg et al. 2009, Naito et al. predominantly focused on enhancing P acquisition 2015, Carey et al. 2015). from soils (Wissuwa et al. 2009). However, at least In case of exposure to non-essential toxic conceptually, it is generally agreed that concurrent elements such as As, plants have both direct and improvements in vegetative stage PUE should be secondary effects on metabolism. Direct affects an important complementary trait to enhanced P include, an over production of reactive uptake in any breeding approach (Wang et al. 2010, species (ROS) that to cell damage, lipid Rowe et al. 2016). peroxidation and other injuries (Tripathi et al. Under P starvation and P starvation combined 2012). And second effects are often related to with As exposure, IRGA 424 had higher PUE as changes in nutrient uptake (Abedin et al. 2002, compared to the other cultivars (Figure 5). Studies Meharg and Hartley-Whitaker 2002). demonstrated that in general P uptake rate is very Our results go some way to understanding the similar among rapidly growing species and even role of P nutrition in controlling the effects of As when compared to slowly growing species (Chapin in rice shoots. With further work, may form the et al. 1982, Chapin et al. 1989). This is not an basis of management practices to alleviate As important adaptive mechanism because in low P


Figure 6 - Phosphorus use efficiency (PUE) relationship to sum of species of total As, shoot dry weight, root dry weight and total root length for BR-IRGA 409, IRGA 423 and IRGA 424 cultivars in shoot tissue samples.

An Acad Bras Cienc (2017) 89 (1) 172 JÚLIA G. FARIAS et al. availability absorption is limited by P diffusion to As effect was cultivar-dependent, and BR-IRGA the root surface therefore, so even a low nutrient 409 showed the highest susceptibility to As in absorption capacity is adequate to absorb those biomass production and root system parameters that reaches the root (Aerts and Chapin regardless of the P level. The response to P levels 2000). was also distinct among the cultivars as well The results in our work may indicate that there as phosphorus use efficiency (PUE). Under P are important morphologic differences in roots that starvation and P starvation combined with As directly affect shoot production among the three exposure, overall, PUE increased, being higher rice cultivars. It is therefore possible to control for IRGA 424 cultivars. This cultivar was the only As impact in rice through the selection of rice one with significant correlation for both shoot genotypes with higher PUE, although this doesn’t dry weight and total root length with PUE; while necessary is related to As uptake and accumulation BR-IRGA 409 had no correlation and IRGA 423 (Figure 6). only had for shoot dry weight. Even though there When comes to PUE evaluation there are was no evidence of relation between PUE and As many discrepancies in the terminology, definitions translocation in early stage in rice plants, however and calculations (Siddiqi and Glass 1981, Ozturk et it was related to As tolerance. Thus, our results go al. 2005, Wissuwa et al. 2015). Siddiqi and Glass some way to understanding the role of P nutrition (1981) use total plant biomass, Wissuwa et al. in controlling the effects of As in rice growth. (2015) focused on shoot biomass and agronomic PUE refers to the increase in yield of a variety ACKNOWLEDGMENTS following the addition of P fertilizer. Assessed We thank to government funding Coordenação as the difference in yield between fertilized and de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível unfertilized treatments, divided by the difference Superior (CAPES) and Conselho Nacional de in nutrient supplied in each of the treatments Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (Hammond et al. 2008), agronomic PUE is a for financial support. measurement of the level of responsiveness to P. High PUE cultivar IRGA 424 showed the REFERENCES highest tolerance to As exposure under the tested ABEDIN MJ, FELDMANN J AND MEHARG AA. 2002. system, with an interestingly potential for further Uptake kinetics of arsenic species in rice plants. Plant studies. Thus, for this cultivar PUE was related with Physiol 128: 1120-1128. total root length and shoot dry weight (Figure 6), AERTS R AND CHAPIN III FS. 2000. The mineral nutrition of wild plants revisited: A re-evaluation of processes and and this cultivar would still have the highest PUE patterns. Advances in Ecological Research 30: 1-67. even with we considered total biomass (Siddiqi and AGENCY FOR TOXIC SUBSTANCES AND DISEASE Glass 1981), however this cultivar hasn’t showed REGISTRY (ATSDR). 2011. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. Georgia: ATSDR, 2011, 500 p. high responsiveness to P increment (Figure 2,4, BHATTACHARYA P, SAMAL AC AND MAJUMDAR Figure 3, 6). J. Arsenic contamination in rice, , pulses, and vegetables: a study in an arsenic affected area of West CONCLUSIONS Bengal, India. 2010. Water Air Soil Pollut: 213: 3-13. BLEEKER PM, HAKVOORT HW, BLIEK M, SOUER E The As exposure had significant effects on reducing AND SCHAT H. 2006. Enhanced arsenate reduction by a CDC25-like tyrosine phosphatase explains increased dry weights of shoots and roots, thus resulted in phytochelatin accumulation in arsenate-tolerant Holcus elevated concentrations of As in shoot tissues. The lanatus. Plant J 45: 917-929.


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