Leaf-applied sodium chloride promotes cadmium accumulation in durum wheat grain
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- Ozkutlu, F., Ozturk, L., Erdem, H. et al. Plant Soil (2007) 290: 323. doi:10.1007/s11104-006-9164-6
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Cadmium (Cd) accumulation in durum wheat grain is a growing concern. Among the factors affecting Cd accumulation in plants, soil chloride (Cl) concentration plays a critical role. The effect of leaf NaCl application on grain Cd was studied in greenhouse-grown durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. durum, cv. Balcali-2000) by immersing (10 s) intact flag leaves into Cd and/or NaCl-containing solutions for 14 times during heading and dough stages. Immersing flag leaves in solutions containing increasing amount of Cd resulted in substantial increases in grain Cd concentration. Adding NaCl alone or in combination with the Cd-containing immersion solution promoted accumulation of Cd in the grains, by up to 41%. In contrast, Zn concentrations of grains were not affected or even decreased by the NaCl treatments. This is likely due to the effect of Cl complexing Cd and reducing positive charge on the metal ion, an effect that is much smaller for Zn. Charge reduction or removal (CdCl20 species) would increase the diffusivity/lipophilicity of Cd and enhance its capability to penetrate the leaf epidermis and across membranes. Of even more significance to human health was the ability of Cl alone to penetrate leaf tissue and mobilize and enhance shoot Cd transfer to grains, yet reducing or not affecting Zn transfer.