Browse Articles

Article|22 May 2023|OPEN
Dopamine alleviates cadmium stress in apple trees by recruiting beneficial microorganisms to enhance the physiological resilience revealed by high-throughput sequencing and soil metabolomics
Yang Cao1 ,† , Peihua Du1 ,† , Jiran Zhang1 , Jiahao Ji1 , Jizhong Xu1 and Bowen Liang,1 ,
1College of Horticulture, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding, Hebei 071001, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad112 (2023)
Views: 109

Received: 15 Feb 2023
Accepted: 16 May 2023
Published online: 22 May 2023


Dopamine has demonstrated promise as a stress-relief substance. However, the function of dopamine in Cd tolerance and its mechanism remains largely unknown. The current study was performed to investigate the mechanism of dopamine on alleviating apple Cd stress through regular application of CdCl2 and dopamine solution to potting soil. The results indicated that dopamine significantly reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and Cd accumulation and alleviated the inhibitory effect of Cd stress on the growth of apple plants through activation of the antioxidant system, enhancement of photosynthetic capacity, and regulation of gene expression related to Cd absorption and detoxification. The richness of the rhizosphere microbial community increased, and community composition and assembly were affected by dopamine treatment. Network analysis of microbial communities showed that the numbers of nodes and total links increased significantly after dopamine treatment, while the keystone species shifted. Linear discriminant analysis effect size indicated that some biomarkers were significantly enriched after dopamine treatment, suggesting that dopamine induced plants to recruit potentially beneficial microorganisms (PseudoxanthomonasAeromicrobiumBradyrhizobiumFrankiaSaccharimonadalesNovosphingobium, and Streptomyces) to resist Cd stress. The co-occurrence network showed several metabolites that were positively correlated with relative growth rate and negatively correlated with Cd accumulation, suggesting that potentially beneficial microorganisms may be attracted by several metabolites (L-threonic acid, profenamine, juniperic acid and (3β,5ξ,9ξ)-3,6,19-trihydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid). Our results demonstrate that dopamine alleviates Cd stress in apple trees by recruiting beneficial microorganisms to enhance the physiological resilience revealed. This study provides an effective means to reduce the harm to agricultural production caused by heavy metals.