Perennial ryegrass is an important and widespread perennial cool-season turfgrass, which has also potential for rehabilitation of Cd-contaminated soils. However, the tolerance mechanism of perennial ryegrass to heavy metal had not been well illuminated. Recently, Hongji Luo, a master candidate in Wuhan Botanical Garden, accomplished the investigation on the physiological responses and gene transcription in perennial ryegrass under Cd stress. This research has been published in Ecotoxicology (2011, 20: 770-778; IF=3.507, Top 10.5%) entitled “Antioxidant responses and gene expression in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) under cadmium stress".
The results indicated that soluble protein content was lower in the Cd-treated perennial ryegrass than untreated plants. On the other hand, the Cd-treated perennial ryegrass exhibited a greater level of malondialdehyde and activity of the antioxidative enzymes relative to the control. The Cd stress induced up-regulated expression of genes encoded antioxidative enzymes or detoxification enzymes at 4–24 h after treatment. The gene transcript profile was correlated with the enzyme activity under Cd stress. The present study provided new insight for us to understand the physiological and molecular mechanisms in turfgrass tolerant to heavy metal. In addition, the results of this study provided important information for perennial ryegrass to be used in phytoremediation and as a kind of biomarker.