, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 389–401 | Cite as

Photosynthetic responses of Oryza sativa L. seedlings to cadmium stress: physiological, biochemical and ultrastructural analyses

  • Yuwen Wang
  • Xiaohan Jiang
  • Kang Li
  • Min Wu
  • Rufeng Zhang
  • Lu Zhang
  • Guoxiang ChenEmail author


In the present study, photosynthetic responses induced by cadmium stress in chlorophyll biosynthesis, photochemical activities, the stability of thylakoid membranes chlorophyll-protein complexes and the chloroplast ultrastructure of the cereal crop Oryza sativa L. were characterized. Cadmium inhibited the biosynthesis of chlorophyll by interfering with activity of δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase in the rice seedlings. For the photochemical activities analyses, the extent of the decrease in photosystem II activity was much greater than that in the PS I activity. The variations in the chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters also indicated that cadmium toxicity drastically affected the photochemistry of PS II. Biochemical analyses by BN-PAGE and protein immunoblot showed that cadmium toxicity considerably affected the stability of PS II-core, cytb 6 /f, RuBisCO, PSI + LHCI and LHCII (Trimeric). We observed the rate of the thylakoid membranes protein degradation, was mainly at the level of RbcL, PsaA, Lhca1 and D1. In addition, the damages to chloroplast structure and thylakoid stacking analyzed by transmission electron microscopy were indicative of general disarray in the photosynthetic functions exerted by cadmium toxicity. These results are valuable for understanding the biological consequences of heavy metals contamination particularly in soils devoted to organic agriculture.


Photosynthetic responses Cadmium Chlorophyll-protein complexes 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31271621) and A Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD) and NSFC for Talents Training in Basic Science (J1103507, J1210025).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuwen Wang
    • 1
  • Xiaohan Jiang
    • 1
  • Kang Li
    • 1
  • Min Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rufeng Zhang
    • 1
  • Lu Zhang
    • 1
  • Guoxiang Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Biotechnology, Life Sciences CollegeNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Zijin CollegeNanjing University of Science and TechnologyNanjingChina

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