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Antimony (Sb) is a toxic metalloid that has been listed as a priority pollutant. The environmental impacts of Sb have recently attracted attention, but its phytotoxicity and biological transformation remain poorly understood. In this study, Sb speciation and transformation in plant roots was quantified by Sb K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy. In addition, the phytotoxicity of antimonate (SbV) on six plant species was assessed by measuring plant photosynthesis, growth, and phytochelatin production induced by SbV. Linear combination fitting of the Sb K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectra indicated reduction of SbV was limited to ∼5-33% of Sb. The data confirmed that Sb-polygalacturonic acid was the predominant chemical form in all plant species (up to 95%), indicating Sb was primarily bound to the cell walls of plant roots. Shell fitting of Sb K-edge X-ray absorption fine-structure (EXAFS) spectra confirmed Sb-O and Sb-C were the dominant scattering paths. The fitting indicated that SbV was bound to hydroxyl functional groups of cell walls, via development of a local coordination environment analogous to Sb-polygalacturonic acid. This is the first study to demonstrate the key role of plant cell walls in Sb metabolism. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Sepide Abbasi, Dane T Lamb, Girish Choppala, Edward D Burton, Mallavarapu Megharaj. Antimony speciation, phytochelatin stimulation and toxicity in plants. Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987). 2022 Jul 15;305:119305

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PMID: 35430314

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