Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 45–52 | Cite as

Silicon alleviates cadmium toxicity in peanut plants in relation to cadmium distribution and stimulation of antioxidative enzymes

  • Gangrong Shi
  • Qingsheng Cai
  • Caifeng Liu
  • Li Wu
Original Paper


Silicon (Si) is generally considered a beneficial element for the growth of higher plants, especially for those grown under stressed environments. Recently, the mitigating role of Si in cadmium (Cd) stress has received some attention. However, its mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. We studied the effects of Si on tissue and subcellular distribution of Cd, as well as the activities of major antioxidant enzymes (SOD, POD and CAT) with two contrasting peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) cultivars (Luhua 11 and Luzi 101) differing in their Cd tolerance. The results showed that Cd exposure alone depressed plant growth and caused oxidative stress for both cultivars, and this toxicity was more obvious in Cd-sensitive cultivar (Luhua 11) than in Cd-tolerant cultivar (Luzi 101). Si supply significantly alleviated the toxicity of Cd in peanut seedlings; this was correlated with a reduction of shoot Cd accumulation, an alteration of Cd subcellular distribution in leaves, and a stimulation of antioxidative enzymes. The mechanisms of Si amelioration of Cd stress were cultivar and tissue dependent. For Luhua 11, Si-mediated inhibition of Cd transport from roots to shoots, reduction of Cd content in cell organelle fractions of leaves, and enhancement of the SOD, POD and CAT activities in roots, might responsible for the role of Si in alleviating Cd toxicity. For Luzi 101, Si alleviation of Cd toxicity is mainly attributed to the decrease in Cd concentration in shoot and stimulation of antioxidants systems.


Antioxidant enzyme Arachis hypogaea Cadmium Silicon Subcellular distribution 



Atomic absorbance spectrometry








Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase


Translocation factor



Financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40971296) and the Natural Science Foundation for College of Anhui Province (KJ2009B073) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gangrong Shi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qingsheng Cai
    • 1
  • Caifeng Liu
    • 2
  • Li Wu
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Life SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.The Provincial Key Laboratory of the Resource Plant Biology in Department of BiologyHuaibei Coal Industry Teachers CollegeHuaibeiPeople’s Republic of China

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