Iron toxicity in plants: Impacts and remediation


Iron (Fe) is the fourth abundant element in the earth crust. Iron toxicity is not often discussed in plant science though it causes severe morphological and physiological disorders, including reduced germination percentage, interferes with enzymatic activities, nutritional imbalance, membrane damage, and chloroplast ultrastructure. It also causes severe toxicity to important biomolecules, which leads to ferroptotic cell death and induces structural changes in the photosynthetic apparatus, which results in retardation of carbon metabolism. However, some agronomic practices like soil remediation through chemicals, nutrients and organic amendments, and some breeding and genetic approaches can provide fruitful results in enhancing crop production in Fe contaminated soils. Some quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been reported for Fe tolerance in plants but the function of underlying genes are just emerging. Physiological and molecular mechanism of Fe uptake, translocation, toxicity and remediation techniques are still under experimenation. In this review, the toxic effects of Fe on seed germination, carbon assimilation, water relations, nutrient uptake, oxidative damages, enzymatic activities and overall plant growth and development have been discussed. The Fe dynamics in soil rhizosphere and role of remediation strategies, i.e., biological, physical, and chemical have also been described. Use of organic amendments, microbe, phytoremediation and biological strategies are considered to be both cost and environment friendly for the purification of Fe-conatminated soil, while to ensure better crop yield and quality the manipulation of agronomic practices are suggested. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Authors: Noreen Zahra, Muhammad Bilal Hafeez, Kanval Shaukat, Abdul Wahid, Mirza Hasanuzzaman
; Full Source: Physiologia plantarum 2021 Feb 6. doi: 10.1111/ppl.13361.