Plant and Soil

, 277:117 | Cite as

Characteristics of Arsenic Accumulation by Pteris and non-Pteris Ferns

  • T. Luongo
  • L.Q. MaEmail author


This research was conducted to understand the mechanisms of arsenic hyperaccumulation in Pteris vittata by comparing the characteristics of arsenic accumulation in Pteris and non-Pteris ferns. Seven Pteris (P.vittata, P. Cretica Rowerii, P. Cretica Parkerii, P. Cretica Albo-lineata, P. Quadriavrita, P. Ensiformis and P. Dentata) and six non-Pteris (Arachnoides simplicor, Didymochlaena truncatula, Dryopteris atrata, Dryopteris erythrosora, Cyrtomium falcatum, and Adiantum hispidulum) ferns were exposed to 0, 1 and 10 mgL−1 arsenic as sodium arsenate for 14-d in hydroponic systems. As a group, the Pteris ferns were more efficient in arsenic accumulation than the non-Pteris ferns, with P. vittata being the most efficient followed by P. cretica. When exposed to 10 mg L−1 As, arsenic concentrations in the fronds and roots of P. vittata were 1748 and 503 mg kg−1. Though not all Pteris ferns were efficient in accumulating arsenic, none of the non-Pteris ferns was an efficient As accumulator (the highest concentration being 452 mg kg−1). The fact that frond arsenic concentrations in the control were highly correlated with those exposed to As (r 2 = 0.76–0.87) may suggest that they may be used as a preliminary tool to screen potential arsenic hyperaccumulators. Our research confirms that the ability of P. vittata to translocate arsenic from the roots to the fronds (73–77% As in the fronds), reduce arsenate to arsenite in the fronds (>50% AsIII in the fronds), and maintain high concentrations of phosphate in the roots (48–53% in the roots) all contributed to its arsenic tolerance and hyperaccumulation.


arsenic detoxification hyperaccumulation mechanisms metabolism uptake toxicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Soil and Water Science DepartmentUniversity of Florida GainesvilleUSA

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