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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 8031213, 13 pages
Review Article

Chromium(VI) Toxicity in Legume Plants: Modulation Effects of Rhizobial Symbiosis

Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, 57 Shevchenko Str., Ivano-Frankivsk 76018, Ukraine

Correspondence should be addressed to Uliana Ya. Stambulska; ten.rku@akslubmatsu and Maria M. Bayliak; ten.rku@kailyab

Received 17 November 2017; Accepted 31 December 2017; Published 14 February 2018

Academic Editor: Jesús Muñoz-Rojas

Copyright © 2018 Uliana Ya. Stambulska et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Most legume species have the ability to establish a symbiotic relationship with soil nitrogen-fixing rhizobacteria that promote plant growth and productivity. There is an increasing evidence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) important role in formation of legume-rhizobium symbiosis and nodule functioning. Environmental pollutants such as chromium compounds can cause damage to rhizobia, legumes, and their symbiosis. In plants, toxic effects of chromium(VI) compounds are associated with the increased production of ROS and oxidative stress development as well as with inhibition of pigment synthesis and modification of virtually all cellular components. These metabolic changes result in inhibition of seed germination and seedling development as well as reduction of plant biomass and crop yield. However, if plants establish symbiosis with rhizobia, heavy metals are accumulated preferentially in nodules decreasing the toxicity of metals to the host plant. This review summarizes data on toxic effects of chromium on legume plants and legume-rhizobium symbiosis. In addition, we discussed the role of oxidative stress in both chromium toxicity and formation of rhizobial symbiosis and use of nodule bacteria for minimizing toxic effects of chromium on plants.