Application of silicon and sodium hydrosulfide alleviates arsenic toxicity by regulating the physio-biochemical and molecular mechanisms of Zea mays

Document Type


Source of Publication

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

Publication Date



Soil contaminationwith toxic heavy metals (such as arsenic (As)) is becoming a serious global problem due to rapid development of social economy, although the use of silicon (Si) and sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) has been found effective in enhancing plant tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses including the As toxicity. For this purpose, a pot experiment was conducted using the different levels of As toxicity in the soil, i.e., (0 mM (no As), 50, and 100 µM) which were also supplied with the different exogenous levels of Si, i.e., (0 (no Si), 1.5, and 3 mM) and also with the NaHS, i.e., (0 (no NaHS), 1, and 2 mM) on growth, photosynthetic pigments, gas exchange characteristics, oxidative stress biomarkers, antioxidant machinery (enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants), and their gene expression, ion uptake, organic acid exudation, and As uptake of maize (Zea mays L.). Results from the present study showed that the increasing levels of As in the soil significantly (P < 0.05) decreased plant growth and biomass, photosynthetic pigments, gas exchange attributes, sugars, and nutritional contents from the roots and shoots of the plants. In contrast, increasing levels of As in the soil significantly (P < 0.05) increased oxidative stress indicators in terms of malondialdehyde, hydrogen peroxide, and electrolyte leakage and also increased organic acid exudation patter in the roots of Z. mays, although the activities of enzymatic antioxidants and the response of their gene expressions in the roots and shoots of the plants and non-enzymatic such as phenolic, flavonoid, ascorbic acid, and anthocyanin contents were initially increased with the exposure of 50 µM As, but decreased by the increasing the As concentration 100 µM in the soil. The negative impact of As toxicity can overcome the application of Si and NaHS, which ultimately increased plant growth and biomass by capturing the reactive oxygen species and decreased oxidative stress in Z. mays by decreasing the As contents in the roots and shoots of the plants. Our results also showed that the Si was more sever and showed better results when we compared with NaHS under the same treatment of As in the soil. Research findings, therefore, suggest that the combined application of Si and NaHS can ameliorate As toxicity in Z. mays, resulting in improved plant growth and composition under metal stress, as depicted by balanced exudation of organic acids.




Springer Science and Business Media LLC


Life Sciences


Antioxidant, Cereal crop, Gene expression, Growth, Heavy metal

Scopus ID


Indexed in Scopus


Open Access