Technological watch

Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) differentially regulates antioxidant potential, photosynthetic, and metabolic activities under arsenic stress

Arsenic (As) contamination is continuously increasing in the groundwaters and soils around the world causing toxicity in the plants with a detrimental effect on physiology, growth, and yield. In a hydroponic system, thirty-day-old plants of Trigonella foenum-graecum were subjected to 0, 50, or 100 µM NaHAsO40.7 H2O for 10 days. The magnitude of oxidative stress increased, whereas growth indices and photosynthetic parameters decreased in a dose-dependent manner. The efficiency of photosystem II in terms of Hill reaction activity (HRA) or chlorophyll-a was adversely affected by As stress. The antioxidant potential of plants regarding ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assays was enhanced, indicating the augmented resistance mechanism in plants to counter As stress. The metabolite analysis of leaf extracts revealed many As responsive metabolites including amino acids, organic acids, sugars/polyols, and others. Phenylalanine and citrulline were highly accumulated at 50 or 100 µM As, salicylic acid accumulated more at 50 µM of As while ascorbic acid notably increased at 100 µM of As. At 50 or 100 µM As, the glucose and fructose contents increased while the sucrose content decreased. At both As doses, tagatose and glucitol contents were 13 times higher than controls. Varied accumulation of metabolites could be associated with the different As doses that represent the range of tolerance in T. foenum-graecum towards As toxicity. Pathway analysis of metabolites revealed that amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism and the citrate cycle play important roles under As stress. This study helps in a better metabolomic understanding of the dose-dependent toxicity and response of As in T. foenum-graecum.

Publication date: 01/11/2022

Author: Javed Ahmad, Md Amjad Beg, Arlene A. Ali, Asma A. Al-Huqail, M. Irfan Qureshi

Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 1914.