, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 71-80

Phytochelatin synthesis and cadmium localization in wild type of Arabidopsis thaliana

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Abstract

AlthoughArabidopsis thaliana is known as a model plant, in molecular studies, as well as heavy metal tolerance of higher plants, there have been no detailed studies of its cadmium accumulation, tolerance and cellular distribution in a wild type of this species. In hydroponic experiments the wild type of A. thaliana (L.) Heynh cv. Columbia plants grew at cadmium concentrations varying from 5 to 100 μM with phytotoxicity symptoms depending on the concentration and time of application. The concentration of cadmium in roots and shoots increased from 0.28 and 0.08 mg g−1 d.wt at 5 μM Cd treatment after 7 days to 0.82 and 0.85 mg g−1 d.wt at 100 μM Cd treatment after 14 days, respectively. Most of the cadmium (69–88% of its total pool) was found in shoot. Cd application induced the biosynthesis of phytochelatins (PCs) in root and shoot tissues. Studies with buthionine sulfoximine [BSO, specific inhibitor of glutathione (GSH) synthesis] supported the presence of Cd–phytochelatin complexes and their role in Cd detoxification and tolerance in wild type of A. thaliana. Cellular distribution of cadmium was examined using energy-dispersive X-ray micro-analysis. Particularly interesting was the observation of cadmium localized in the root pericycle.