Cobalt-induced oxidative stress causes growth inhibition associated with enhanced lipid peroxidation and activates antioxidant responses in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.) leaves

Thirupathi Karuppanapandian, Wook Kim

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The effect of 100 μM cobalt (Co) on plant growth and on biochemical parameters indicative of oxidative stress was investigated in a hydroponic experiment. The responses of antioxidant enzymes and compounds of the ascorbate-glutathione (AsA-GSH) cycle were also assessed on the hyperaccumulating plant, Indian mustard (Brasssica juncea L.). The effect of excess Co was associated with a significant increase in the levels of proline, carbonylated protein, malondialdehyde, superoxide anion (O 2 ·-), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and resulted in the accumulation of Co. Co toxicity was associated with an increase in the volume of palisade and spongy cells, and a reduction in the number of chloroplasts per cell. Co-induced cell death was characterized by DNA fragmentation and a 36 kDa DNase activity. Despite decreased catalase activity, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and AsA-GSH cycle-related enzymes including monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, and glutathione reductase exhibited remarkable induction under Co stress. Furthermore, the contents of reduced and oxidized forms of ascorbate and glutathione were significantly increased with Co supplementation. Co treatment led to the activation of 44 and 46 kDa mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and indicated the role of the MAPK cascade in transducing Co-mediated signals. The present results suggest that excess Co reduces seedling growth by inducing oxidative stress related to lipid peroxidation and overproduction of O 2 ·- and H2O2. The stimulated activities of antioxidative enzymes and induction of MAPKs did not reverse the oxidative stress caused by Co-induced reactive oxygen species generation in Indian mustard seedlings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2429-2443
Number of pages15
JournalActa Physiologiae Plantarum
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 1



  • Antioxidative enzymes
  • Brassica juncea
  • Cobalt
  • MAPKs
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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