In this study, we assess the DNA damage occurring in response to cadmium (Cd) in the Cd hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens Ganges (GA) vs the non-accumulator and close-relative species Arabidopsis thaliana. At this purpose, the alkaline comet assay was utilized to evaluate the Cd-induced variations in nucleoids and the methy-sens comet assay, and semiquantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR were also performed to associate nucleus variations to possible DNA modifications. Cadmium induced high DNA damages in nuclei of A. thaliana while only a small increase in DNA migration was observed in N. caerulescens GA. In addition, in N. caerulescens GA, CpG DNA methylation increase upon Cd when compared to control condition, along with an increase in the expression of MET1 gene, coding for the DNA-methyltransferase. N. caerulescens GA does not show any oxidative stress under Cd treatment, while A. thaliana Cd-treated plants showed an upregulation of transcripts of the respiratory burst oxidase, accumulation of reactive oxygen species, and enhanced superoxide dismutase activity. These data suggest that epigenetic modifications occur in the N. caerulescens GA exposed to Cd to preserve genome integrity, contributing to Cd tolerance.
DNA methylation is enhanced during Cd hyperaccumulation in Noccaea caerulescens ecotype Ganges / Galati, Serena; Dalcorso, Giovanni; Furini, Antonella; Fragni, Rosaria; Maccari, Chiara; Mozzoni, Paola; Giannelli, Gianluigi; Buschini, Annamaria; Visioli, Giovanna. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0944-1344. - (2022). [10.1007/s11356-022-23983-w]