Early response to nanoparticles in the Arabidopsis transcriptome compromises plant defence and root-hair development through salicylic acid signalling
García Sánchez, Susana
Bernales Pujana, Irantzu
Cristobal Barragán, Susana
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BMC Genomics 16 : (2015) // Article ID 341
Background: The impact of nano-scaled materials on photosynthetic organisms needs to be evaluated. Plants represent the largest interface between the environment and biosphere, so understanding how nanoparticles affect them is especially relevant for environmental assessments. Nanotoxicology studies in plants allude to quantum size effects and other properties specific of the nano-stage to explain increased toxicity respect to bulk compounds. However, gene expression profiles after exposure to nanoparticles and other sources of environmental stress have not been compared and the impact on plant defence has not been analysed. Results: Arabidopsis plants were exposed to TiO2-nanoparticles, Ag-nanoparticles, and multi-walled carbon nanotubes as well as different sources of biotic (microbial pathogens) or abiotic (saline, drought, or wounding) stresses. Changes in gene expression profiles and plant phenotypic responses were evaluated. Transcriptome analysis shows similarity of expression patterns for all plants exposed to nanoparticles and a low impact on gene expression compared to other stress inducers. Nanoparticle exposure repressed transcriptional responses to microbial pathogens, resulting in increased bacterial colonization during an experimental infection. Inhibition of root hair development and transcriptional patterns characteristic of phosphate starvation response were also observed. The exogenous addition of salicylic acid prevented some nano-specific transcriptional and phenotypic effects, including the reduction in root hair formation and the colonization of distal leaves by bacteria. Conclusions: This study integrates the effect of nanoparticles on gene expression with plant responses to major sources of environmental stress and paves the way to remediate the impact of these potentially damaging compounds through hormonal priming.