Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, Shahre Qods Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Scientific Department of Pulp and Paper, Energy and New Technology Faculty, Zirab Rachis, Shahid Beheshti University, Iran.

3 ACECR-Research Institute of Applied Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Environment, Faculty of Natural Environment, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Statistic, Trade Planing Office, Trade Promotion Organization, Tehran, Iran


It was shown that the use of signaling molecules like nitric oxide donor sodium nitroprusside (SNP) can elevate phytoremediation potential of some plant species. The aim of the study is to reveal the effect of SNP on the enhancement of the phytoremediation potential and physiological responses of zinc-stressed safflower roots.
Material and methods:
The treatments were arranged in a completely randomized design with five replicates. After 10 days, the level of oxidative markers (e.g., H2O2 and lipid peroxidation) and antioxidant compounds (e.g., glutathione, ascorbate and phytochelatins) of plants were analyzed.
Results and discussion:
SNP application alleviated Zn-induced growth inhibition of roots probably through induction of some antioxidative compounds.Application of SNP resulted in decrease in oxidative markers and the activity of SOD as compared to the plants treated with Zn only. No relationship was found between SNP supplementation and glutathione and ascorbate levels, while upon application of SNP the level of PCs increased significantly.
The results suggest that the application of SNP render safflower roots more tolerant to zinc toxicity possibly through zinc chelation by the stimulation of phytochelatin production.


  1. Arnon, D. and Hoagland, D., 1940. Crop production in artificial culture solutions and in soils with special reference to factors influencing yields and absorption of inorganic nutrients. Soil Science. 50, 463-485.
  2. Bavita, A., Shashi, B. and Navtej, S., 2012. Nitric oxide alleviates oxidative damage induced by high temperature stress in wheat. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology. 50, 372-378.
  3. Beauchamp, C. and Fridovich, I., 1971. Superoxide dismutase: improved assays and an assay applicable to acrylamide gels. Analytical biochemistry. 44, 276-287.
  4. Dong, Y., Wang, Z., Zhang, J., Liu, S., He, Z. and He, M., 2015. Interaction effects of nitric oxideand salicylic acid in alleviating salt stress of Gossypium hirsutum L. Journal of soil science and plant nutrition. 15, 561-573.
  5. Gilvanova, I., Enikeev, A., Stepanov, S.Y. and Rakhmankulova, Z., 2012. Involvement of salicylic acid and nitric oxide in protective reactions of wheat under the influence of heavy metals. Applied biochemistry and microbiology. 48, 90-94.
  6. Gill, S.S. and Tuteja, N., 2010. Reactive oxygen species and antioxidant machinery in abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants. Plant physiology and biochemistry. 48, 909-930.
  7. Hasanuzzaman, M. and Fujita, M., 2013. Exogenous sodium nitroprusside alleviates arsenic-induced oxidative stress in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings by enhancing antioxidant defense and glyoxalase system. Ecotoxicology. 22, 584-596.
  8. Heath, R.L. and Packer, L., 1968. Photoperoxidation in isolated chloroplasts: I. Kinetics and stoichiometry of fatty acid peroxidation. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics. 125, 189-198.
  9. Hissin, P.J. and Hilf, R., 1976. A fluorometric method for determination of oxidized and reduced glutathione in tissues. Analytical biochemistry. 74, 214-226.
  10. Kazemi, N., Khavari-Nejad, R.A., Fahimi, H., Saadatmand, S. and Nejad-Sattari, T., 2010. Effects of exogenous salicylic acid and nitric oxide on lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzyme activities in leaves of Brassica napus L. under nickel stress. Scientia Horticulturae. 126, 402-407.
  11. Kühnlenz, T., Hofmann, C., Uraguchi, S., Schmidt, H., Schempp, S., Weber, M., Lahner, B., Salt, D.E. and Clemens, S., 2016. Phytochelatin synthesis promotes leaf Zn accumulation of Arabidopsis thaliana plants grown in soil with adequate Zn supply and is essential for survival on Zn-contaminated soil. Plant and Cell Physiology. 57, 2342-2352.
  12. Li, X., Yang, Y., Jia, L., Chen, H. and Wei, X., 2013. Zinc-induced oxidative damage, antioxidant enzyme response and proline metabolism in roots and leaves of wheat plants. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety. 89, 150-157.
  13. Madaan, N. and Mudgal, V., 2009. Differential tolerance behaviour of safflower accessions to some heavy metals. International Journal of Applied Environmental Sciences. 4: 413-420.
  14. Mishra, S., Jha, A. and Dubey, R., 2011. Arsenite treatment induces oxidative stress, upregulates antioxidant system, and causes phytochelatin synthesis in rice seedlings. Protoplasma. 248, 565-577.
  15. Molina, A.S., Nievas, C., Chaca, M.V.P., Garibotto, F., Gonzalez, U., Marsa, S.M., Luna, C., Gimenez, M.S. and Zirulnik, F., 2008. Cadmium-induced oxidative damage and antioxidative defense mechanisms in Vigna mungo L. Plant growth regulation. 56, 285.
  16. Mostofa, M.G., Seraj, Z.I. and Fujita, M., 2014. Exogenous sodium nitroprusside and glutathione alleviate copper toxicity by reducing copper uptake and oxidative damage in rice (Oryza sativa L.) seedlings. Protoplasma. 251, 1373-1386.
  17. Namdjoyan, S., Namdjoyan, S. and Kermanian, H., 2012. Induction of phytochelatin and responses of antioxidants under cadmium stress in safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) seedlings. Turkish Journal of Botany. 36, 495-502.
  18. Namdjoyan, S., Khavari-Nejad, R., Bernard, F., Nejadsattari, T. and Shaker, H., 2011. Antioxidant defense mechanisms in response to cadmium treatments in two safflower cultivars. Russian Journal of Plant Physiology. 58, 467-477.
  19. Namdjoyan, S., Kermanian, H., Soorki, A.A., Tabatabaei, S.M. and Elyasi, N., 2017. Interactive effects of Salicylic acid and nitric oxide in alleviating zinc toxicity of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.). Ecotoxicology. 26, 752-761.
  20. Saxena, I. and Shekhawat, G., 2013. Nitric oxide (NO) in alleviation of heavy metal induced phytotoxicity and its role in protein nitration. Nitric Oxide. 32, 13-20.
  21. Singh, N., Ma, L.Q., Srivastava, M. and Rathinasabapathi, B., 2006. Metabolic adaptations to arsenic-induced oxidative stress in Pterisvittata L and Pterisensiformis L. Plant Science. 170, 274-282.
  22. Srivastava, S., Tripathi, R.D. and Dwivedi, U.N., 2004. Synthesis of phytochelatins and modulation of antioxidants in response to cadmium stress in Cuscuta reflexa–an angiospermic parasite. Journal of plant physiology. 161, 665-674.
  23. Subba, P., Mukhopadhyay, M., Mahato, S.K., Bhutia, K.D., Mondal, T.K. and Ghosh, S.K., 2014. Zinc stress induces physiological, ultra-structural and biochemical changes in mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata Blanco) seedlings. Physiology and Molecular Biology of Plants. 20, 461-473.
  24. Wang, Q., Liang, X., Dong, Y., Xu, L., Zhang, X., Kong, J. and Liu, S., 2013. Effects of exogenous salicylic acid and nitric oxide on physiological characteristics of perennial ryegrass under cadmium stress. Journal of plant growth regulation. 32, 721-731.
  25. Zhang, S., Liu, K., Lv, X., Wang, P., Wang, C., Zhang, W. and He, Z., 2014. Effects of nitric oxide on zinc tolerance of the submerged macrophyte Hydrilla verticillata. Aquatic Biology. 23, 61-69.