Elucidating the selenium and arsenic metabolic pathways following exposure to the non-hyperaccumulating Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant
Although many studies have investigated the metabolism of selenium and arsenic in hyperaccumulating plants for phytoremediation purposes, few have explored non-hyperaccumulating plants as a model for general contaminant exposure to plants. In addition, the result of simultaneous supplementation with selenium and arsenic has not been investigated in plants. In this study, Chlorophytum comosum, commonly known as the spider plant, was used to investigate the metabolism of selenium and arsenic after single and simultaneous supplementation. Size exclusion and ion-pairing reversed phase liquid chromatography were coupled to an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer to obtain putative metabolic information of the selenium and arsenic species in C. comosum after a mild aqueous extraction. The chromatographic results depict that selenium and arsenic species were sequestered in the roots and generally conserved upon translocation to the leaves. The data suggest that selenium was directly absorbed by C. comosum roots when supplemented with SeVI, but a combination of passive and direct absorption occurred when supplemented with SeIV due to the partial oxidation of SeIV to SeVI in the rhizosphere. Higher molecular weight selenium species were more prevalent in the roots of plants supplemented with SeIV, but in the leaves of plants supplemented with SeVI due to an increased translocation rate. When supplemented as AsIII, arsenic is proposed to be passively absorbed as AsIII and partially oxidized to AsV in the plant root. Although total elemental analysis demonstrates a selenium and arsenic antagonism, a compound containing selenium and arsenic was not present in the general aqueous extract of the plant.