Over-expression of chickpea glutaredoxin (CaGrx) provides tolerance to heavy metals by reducing metal accumulation and improved physiological and antioxidant defence system

Anil Kumar, Arvind Kumar Dubey, Varun Kumar, Mohd Akram Ansari, Shiv Narayan, Meenakshi, Sanoj Kumar, Vivek Pandey, Pramod Arvind Shirke, Veena Pande, Indraneel Sanyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Glutaredoxins (Grxs) are small multifunctional redox proteins. Grxs have glutathione-dependent oxidoreductase activity in the presence of glutathione reductase and NADPH. The role of Grxs is well studied in heavy metal tolerance in prokaryotic and mammalian systems but not in plant genera. In the present study, a chickpea glutaredoxin (CaGrx) gene (LOC101493651) has been investigated against metal stress based on its primary screening in chickpea which revealed higher up-regulation of CaGrx gene under various heavy metals (AsIII-25 μM, AsV-250 μM, Cr(VI)-300 μM, and Cd-500 μM) stress. This CaGrx gene was overexpressed in Arabidopsis thaliana and investigated various biochemical and physiological performances under each metal stress. Transgenic plants showed significant up-regulation of the CaGrx gene during qRT-PCR analysis as well as longer roots, higher seed germination, and survival efficiency during each metal stress. The levels of stress markers, TBARS, H2O2, and electrolyte leakage were found to be less in transgenic lines as compared to WT revealed less toxicity in transgenics. The total accumulation of AsIII, AsV, and Cr(VI) were significantly reduced in all transgenic lines except Cd, which was slightly reduced. The physiological parameters such as net photosynthetic rate (PN), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration (E), water use efficiency (WUE), photochemical quenching (qP), and electron transport rate (ETR), were maintained in transgenic lines during metal stress. Various antioxidant enzymes such as glutaredoxin (GRX), glutathione reductase (GR), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR), antioxidant molecules (ascorbate, GSH) and stress-responsive amino acids (proline and cysteine) levels were significantly increased in transgenic lines which provide metal tolerance. The outcome of this study strongly indicates that the CaGrx gene participates in the moderation of metal stress in Arabidopsis, which can be utilized in biotechnological interventions to overcome heavy metal stress conditions in different crops.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110252
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Glutaredoxin
  • Glutathione
  • Heavy metals
  • ROS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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