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Zayneb, C.; Bassem, K.; Zeineb, K.; Grubb, C. D.; Noureddine, D.; Hafedh, M.; Amine, E. Physiological responses of fenugreek seedlings and plants treated with cadmium Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 10679-10689, (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s11356-015-4270-8

The bioaccumulation efficiency of cadmium (Cd) by fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) was examined using different concentrations of CdCl2. The germination rate was similar to control except at 10 mM Cd. However, early seedling growth was quite sensitive to the metal from the lowest Cd level. Accordingly, amylase activity was reduced substantially on treatment of seeds with 0.5, 1, and 10 mM Cd. Cadmium also affected various other plant growth parameters. Its accumulation was markedly lower in shoots as compared to roots, reducing root biomass by almost 50 %. Plants treated with 1 and 5 mM Cd presented chlorosis due to a significant reduction in chlorophyll b especially. Furthermore, at Cd concentrations greater than 0.1 mM, plants showed several signs of oxidative stress; an enhancement in root hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) level and in shoot malondialdehyde (MDA) content was observed. Conversely, antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and catalase (CAT)) increased in various plant parts. Likewise, total phenolic and flavonoid contents reached their highest values in the 0.5 mM Cd treatment, consistent with their roles in quenching low concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Consequently, maintaining oxidant and antioxidant balance may permit fenugreek to hyperaccumulate Cd and allow it to be employed in extremely Cd polluted soils for detoxification purposes.

Abel, S.; Savchenko, T.; Levy, M. Genome-wide comparative analysis of the <em>IQD</em> gene families in <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em> and Oryza sativa BMC Evolutionary Biology 5, 72 (1-25), (2005)

We identified and analyzed 33 and 29 IQD1-like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, respectively. The encoded IQD proteins contain a plant-specific domain of 67 conserved amino acid residues, referred to as the IQ67 domain, which is characterized by a unique and repetitive arrangement of three different calmodulin recruitment motifs, known as the IQ, 1-5-10, and 1-8-14 motifs. We demonstrated calmodulin binding for IQD20, the smallest IQD protein in Arabidopsis, which consists of a C-terminal IQ67 domain and a short N-terminal extension. A striking feature of IQD proteins is the high isoelectric point (~10.3) and frequency of serine residues (~11%). We compared the Arabidopsis and rice IQD gene families in terms of gene structure, chromosome location, predicted protein properties and motifs, phylogenetic relationships, and evolutionary history. The existence of an IQD-like gene in bryophytes suggests that IQD proteins are an ancient family of calmodulin-binding proteins and arose during the early evolution of land plants. Comparative phylogenetic analyses indicate that the major IQD gene lineages originated before the monocot-eudicot divergence. The extant IQD loci in Arabidopsis primarily resulted from segmental duplication and reflect preferential retention of paralogous genes, which is characteristic for proteins with regulatory functions. Interaction of IQD1 and IQD20 with calmodulin and the presence of predicted calmodulin binding sites in all IQD family members suggest that IQD proteins are a new class of calmodulin targets. The basic isoelectric point of IQD proteins and their frequently predicted nuclear localization suggest that IQD proteins link calcium signaling pathways to the regulation of gene expression. Our comparative genomics analysis of IQD genes and encoded proteins in two model plant species provides the first step towards the functional dissection of this emerging family of putative calmodulin targets.
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