, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 145-155

Organic Acids Accumulation and Antioxidant Enzyme Activities in Thlaspi caerulescens under Zn and Cd Stress

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Abstract

Growth, organic acid and phytochelatin accumulation, as well as the activity of several antioxidative enzymes, i.e. superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX) guaiacol peroxidase (POX) and catalase (CAT) were investigated under Zn and Cd stress in hydroponically growing plants of Thlaspi caerulescens population from Plombières, Belgium. Tissue Zn and Cd concentration increased (the highest concentration of both was in roots) as the concentration of these metals increased in the nutrient solution. Increasing Zn concentration enhanced plant growth, while with Cd it declined compared to the control. Both metals stimulated malate accumulation in shoots, Zn also caused citrate to increase. Zn did not induce phytochelatin (PC) accumulation. In plants exposed to Cd, PC concentration increased with increasing Cd concentration, but decreased with time of exposure. Under Zn stress SOD activity increased, but APX activity was higher at 500 and 1000 μM Zn and CAT activity only at 500 μM Zn in comparison with the control. CAT activity decreased in Cd- and Zn-stressed plants. The results suggest that relative to other populations, a T. caerulescens population from Plombières, when grown in hydroponics, was characterized by low Zn and Cd uptake and their translocation to shoots and tolerance to both metals. The accumulation of malate and citrate, but not PC accumulation was responsible for Zn tolerance. Cd tolerance seems to be due to neither PC production nor accumulation of organic acids.