Plant and Soil

, Volume 182, Issue 1, pp 115–124 | Cite as

Cadmium uptake and bioaccumulation in selected cultivars of durum wheat and flax as affected by soil type

  • G. Cieśliński
  • K. C. J. Van Rees
  • P. M. Huang
  • L. M. Kozak
  • H. P. W. Rostad
  • D. R. Knott


Accumulation of cadmium (Cd) in crop plants is of great concern due to the potential for food chain contamination through the soil-root interface. Although Cd uptake varies considerably with plant species, the processes which determine the accumulation of Cd in plant tissues are affected by soil factors. The influence of soil type on Cd uptake by durum wheat (Triticum turgidum var. durum L.) and flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) was studied in a pot experiment under environmentally controlled growth chamber conditions. Four cultivars/lines of durum wheat (Kyle, Sceptre, DT 627, and DT 637) and three cultivars/lines of flax (Flanders, AC Emerson, and YSED 2) were grown in two Saskatchewan soils: an Orthic Gray Luvisol (low background Cd concentration; total/ABDTPA extractable Cd: 0.12/0.03 mg kg-1, respectively) and a Dark Brown Chernozem (relatively high background Cd concentration; total/ABDTPA Cd: 0.34/0.17 mg kg-1 respectively). Plant roots, stems, newly developed heads, and grain/seeds were analyzed for Cd concentration at three stages of plant growth: two and seven weeks after germination, and at plant maturity. The results showed that Cd bioaccumulation and distribution within the plants were strongly affected by both soil type and plant cultivar/line. The Cd concentration in roots leaves and stems varied at different stages of plant growth. However, all cultivars of both plant species grown in the Chernozemic soil accumulated more Cd in grain/seeds than plants grown in the Orthic Gray Luvisol soil. The different Cd accumulation pattern also corresponded to the levels of ABDTPA extractable and metal-organic complex bound soil Cd found in both soils. Large differences were found in grain Cd among the durum wheat cultivars grown in the same soil type, suggesting the importance of rhizosphere processes in Cd bioaccumulation and/or Cd transport processes within the plant. Distribution of Cd in parts of mature plants showed that durum grain contained up to 21 and 36% of the total amount of Cd taken up by the plants for the Orthic Gray Luvisol and Chernozemic soils, respectively. These results indicate the importance of studying Cd speciation, bioaccumulation and cycling in the environment for the management of agricultural soils and crops.

Key words

cadmium bioaccumulation Linum usitatissimum L. soil type Triticum turgidum var. durum L. 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baker A J M, Ewart K, Hendry G A F, Thorpe P C and Walker P L 1990 The evolutionary basis of cadmium tolerance in higher plants. In proceedings 4th International Conference Environmental Contamination, Barcelona. Ed. JBarcelo. pp 23–29. CEP consultants, Edinburgh, UK.Google Scholar
  2. Bruemmer G W, Gerth J and Herms U 1986 Heavy metal species, mobility and availability in soils. Z. Pflanzenernaehr. Bodenkd. 149, 382–398.Google Scholar
  3. Cataldo D A, McFadden K M, Garland T R and Wildung R E 1988 Organic constituents and complexation of nickel (II), iron (III), cadmium (II), and plutonium (IV) in soybean xylem exudates. Plant Physiol. 86, 734–739.Google Scholar
  4. Cottenie A, Verloo M, Kiekens L, Camerlynck R, Velghe G and Dhaese A 1983 Essential and nonessential trace elements in the system soil-water-plant. Lab. Analyt. Agrochem. State Univ., Ghent, Belgium. 75 p.Google Scholar
  5. Cutler J M and Rains D W 1974 Characterization of cadmium uptake by plant tissue. Plant Physiol. 54, 67–71.Google Scholar
  6. Fleisher M, Sarofin A F, Fassett D W, Hammond P B, Shacklette H T, Nisbert C T and Epstein S 1974 Environmental impact of cadmium. Environ. Health Perspect. 7, 253–323.Google Scholar
  7. Florijn P J and VanBeusichem M J 1993 Uptake and distribution of cadmium in maize inbred lines. Plant and Soil 150, 25–32.Google Scholar
  8. Galal-Gorchev H 1993 Dietary intake, levels in food and estimated intake of lead, cadmium, and mercury. Food Additives Contaminants 10, 115–128.Google Scholar
  9. Gerritse R G, VanDriel W, Smilde K W and vanLuit B 1983 Uptake of heavy metals by crops in relation to their concentration in the solution. Plant and Soil 75, 393–404.Google Scholar
  10. Grill E, Winnacker E L and Zenk M H 1985 Phytochelatins: the principal heavy-metal complexing peptides of higher plants. Science 230, 674–676.Google Scholar
  11. Haghiri F 1974 Plant uptake of cadmium as influenced by cation exchange capacity, organic matter, zinc, and soil temperature. J. Environ. Qual. 3, 180–183.Google Scholar
  12. Hardiman R T and Jacoby B 1984 Absorption and translocation of Cd in bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). Physiol Plant. 61, 670–674.Google Scholar
  13. Herms U and Brummer G 1984 Einflussgrossen der Schwermetalloslichkeit und-bindung in Boden. Z. Pflanzenernaehr. Bodenkd. 147, 400–424.Google Scholar
  14. Jackson A P and Alloway B J 1991 The bioavailability of cadmium and cabbage in soils previously treated with sewage sludges. Plant and Soil 132, 179–186.Google Scholar
  15. Jacoby B 1967 The effect of the roots on calcium ascent in bean stems. Ann. Bot. 31, 725–731.Google Scholar
  16. Jarvis S C, Jones H P and Hopper M J 1976 Cadmium uptake from solution by plants and its transport from roots to shoots. Plant and Soil 44, 179–191.Google Scholar
  17. Kabata-Pendias A and Pendias H 1992 Trace elements in soils and plants. 2nd edition. CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, FL, USA. 365 p.Google Scholar
  18. King L D 1988 Effect of selected soil properties on cadmium content of tobacco. J. Environ. Qual. 17, 251–255.Google Scholar
  19. Kloke A, Sauerbeck D R and Vetter H 1984 The contamination of plants and soils with heavy metals and transport of metals in terrestrial food chains. In Changing Metal Cycles and Human Health. Ed. J ONriagu. pp 113–141. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.Google Scholar
  20. Koeppe D E 1977 The uptake, distribution and effect of cadmium and lead in plants. Sci. Total Environ. 7, 197–206.Google Scholar
  21. Krishnamurti G S R, Huang P M, Van Rees K C J, Kozak L M and Rostad H P W 1995a Different FTIR study of Cd-binding sites of metal-organic complexes in soil. The Third International Conference on Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements, Paris, May 15–19, 1995.Google Scholar
  22. Krishnamurti G S R, Huang P M, VanRees K C J, Kozak L M and Rostad H P W 1995b Speciation of particulate-bound cadmium of soils and its bioavailability. Analyst 120, 659–665.Google Scholar
  23. Lindsay W L and Norvell W A 1978 Development of a DTPA soil test for zinc, iron, manganese and copper. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 42, 412–428.Google Scholar
  24. Marquard Rvon, Bohm H and Freidt W 1990 Untersuchungen uber Cadmiumgehalte in Leinsaat (Linum usitatissimum L.). Fat. Sci. Technol. 92, 468–472.Google Scholar
  25. McClean A J 1976 Cadmium in different species and its availability in soils as influenced by organic matter and addition of lime, P, Cd and Zn. Can. J. Soil Sci. 56, 129–138.Google Scholar
  26. Mench M and Martin E 1991 Mobilization of cadmium and other metals from two soils by root exudates of Zea mays L, Nicotiana tabacum L., and Nicotiana rustica L. Plant and Soil 132, 187–196.Google Scholar
  27. Mitchell G A, Bingham F T and Page A L, 1978 Yield and metal composition of lettuce and wheat grown on soils amended with sewage sludge enriched with cadmium, copper, nickel, and zinc. J. Environ. Qual. 7, 165–171.Google Scholar
  28. Morghan J T 1993 Accumulation of cadmium and selected elements in flax seed grown on a calcareous soil. Plant and Soil 150, 61–68.Google Scholar
  29. Page A L, Bingham F T and Chang A C 1981 Cadmium. In Effect of heavy metal pollution on plant. Vol. 1. Effects of Trace Metal on Plant Function. Ed. N WLepp. pp 77–109. Appl. Sci., London, UK.Google Scholar
  30. Petit C M and van deGeijn S C 1978 In vivo measurements of cadmium (115Cd) transport and accumulation in the stem of intact tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). I. Long distance transport and local accumulation. Planta 138, 137–143.Google Scholar
  31. Schat H and Kalff M M A 1992 Are phytochelatins involved in differential metal tolerance or do they merely reflect metal-imposed strain? Plant Physiol. 99, 1475–1480.Google Scholar
  32. Senden M H M and Wolterbeek T H 1990 Effect of citric acid on the transport of cadmium through xylem vessels of excised tomato stem-leaf systems. Acta Bot. Neerl. 39, 3, 297–303.Google Scholar
  33. Soltanpour P N 1991 Determination of nutrient availability and elemental toxicity by AB-DTPA soil test and ICPS. Adv. Soil. Sci. 16, 165–190.Google Scholar
  34. Street J J, Sabey B R and Lindsay W L 1978 The influence of pH, phosphorus, cadmium, sewage sludge and incubation time on the stability and plant uptake of cadmium. J. Environ. Qual. 7, 286–290.Google Scholar
  35. Tyler L D and McBride M B 1982 Influence of Ca, pH and humic acid on Cd uptake. Plant and Soil 64, 259–262.Google Scholar
  36. Welch R M 1986 Effects of nutrient deficiencies on seed production and quality. Adv. Plant Nutr. 2, 205–247.Google Scholar
  37. Xian X and Shokohifard G I 1989 Effect of pH on chemical forms and plant availability of cadmium, zinc and lead on polluted soils. Water Air Soil Pollut. 45, 265–237.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Cieśliński
    • 1
  • K. C. J. Van Rees
    • 2
  • P. M. Huang
    • 2
  • L. M. Kozak
    • 3
  • H. P. W. Rostad
    • 3
  • D. R. Knott
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Institute of Pomology and FloricultureSkierniewicePoland
  2. 2.Department of Soil ScienceUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Saskatchewan Land Resource Unit, Centre for Land and Biological Resource ResearchAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaSaskatoonCanada
  4. 4.Department of Crop Science and Plant EcologyUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

Personalised recommendations