Plant and Soil

, Volume 366, Issue 1–2, pp 659–669 | Cite as

Characterization of fluoride uptake by roots of tea plants (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze)

  • Lei Zhang
  • Qiong Li
  • Lifeng Ma
  • Jianyun Ruan
Regular Article


Backgrounds and aims

Tea plants (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) accumulate high fluoride in the leaves whereas the mechanism on its uptake is poorly understood. The measured F uptake was compared to calculated uptake from transpiration rates assumuing no discrimination between F and water to characterize the property of F absorption by tea plant roots.


The F uptake was examined by depletion method under variable external F concentrations, pH, temperature, relative air humidity, anion channel blockers and metabolism inhibitors in solution experiments.


Measured F uptake rates were significantly larger than those calculated from transpiration rates regardless of external F concentrations, uptake durations, relative humidity, and solution pH. The measured and net F uptake (subtracting that calculated from transpiration rate from the measured uptake) were reduced by low temperature and inhibited by anion channel and metabolism inhibitors anthracene-9-carboxylic acid (A-9-C), niflumic acid (NFA), and carbonylcyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) but not by dihydro-4, 4′ diisothiocyanostilbene-2, 2′-disulphonic acid (DIDS). The F uptake showed biphasic response patterns, following saturable Michaelis–Menten kinetics in the range of low external F (below 100 μmol L−1) while increased linearly with external supply in the range of high concentrations.


The uptake of F by roots of accumulator tea plants was likely an active process and energy-dependent. This helps to explain why tea plants are able to accumulate considerably high F.


Camellia sinensis Tea Fluoride Active uptake Passive uptake Kinetics Root Anion channel Metabolism inhibitor Fluoride accumulating plants 



The work was supported by the Research Foundation for Natural Sciences of Zhejiang Province (R050807) and the Ministry of Agriculture of China through the Earmarked Fund for China Agriculture Research System (Project No. CARS 23).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tea Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Key Laboratory for Plant Biology and Resource Application of TeaThe Ministry of AgricultureHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Tea Research Institute of Fujian Provincial Academy of Agricultural SciencesFuanChina

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