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Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume 230, 2022, 113142

Chromium-resistant Staphylococcus aureus alleviates chromium toxicity by developing synergistic relationships with zinc oxide nanoparticles in wheat

Shoaib Ahmada, Manar Fawzi Bani Mfarrejb, Mohamed A. El-Esawic, Muhammad Waseemd, Aishah Alatawie

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University Faisalabad, Faisalabad 38000, Punjab, Pakistan.

Abstract

Chromium (Cr) is a toxic heavy metal that contaminates soil and water resources after its discharge from different industries. It can act as carcinogen and mutagen for biological systems. Microbe-assisted phytoremediation is one of the most emergent and environment friendly technique used for detoxification of Cr from Cr-contaminated soils. In this study, wheat as a test crop was grown under varying stress levels (0, 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) of Cr in a pot experiment under a complete randomized design. Alleviative role of Staphylococcus aureus strain K1 was assessed by applying as a treatment in different combinations of zinc oxide nanoparticles (0, 50, 100 mg/L). Growth and yield attributes data presented nurturing impact of bacterial inoculation and ZnO NPs in improvement of wheat defense system by decreasing Cr toxicity. Increase in chlorophyll and carotenoids contents, antioxidant enzymes (SOD, POD, APX, CAT) activities and nutrient uptake also confirmed the mitigative potential of bacterial inoculation when applied solely or in combination with ZnO NPs. The Cr accumulation in different parts of plant was significantly reduced with the application of NPs and S. aureus strain K1. Taken together, the results showed that combined application of Staphylococcus aureus strain K1 and ZnO NPs detoxifies the effects of Cr on wheat plants and boosts its growth, physiology and defense system.

Keywords: Zinc oxide, Nanoparticles, Microbes, Chromium, Toxicity, Wheat.

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