Variation of trace metal accumulation, major nutrient uptake and growth parameters and their correlations in 22 populations of Noccaea caerulescens
Background and aims
Noccaea caerulescens is a model plant for the understanding of trace metal accumulation and a source of cultivars for phytoextraction. The aim of this study was to investigate natural variation for trace metal accumulation, major nutrient uptake and growth parameters in 22 populations. The correlations among these traits were particularly examined to better understand the eco-physiology and the phytoextraction potential of the species.
Populations from three edaphic groups, i.e. calamine (CAL), serpentine (SERP) and non metalliferous (NMET) sites were grown in hydroponics for seven weeks at moderate trace metal exposure. Growth indicators, element contents and correlations between these variables were compared.
All the phenotypic characteristics showed a wide variability among groups and populations. The SERP populations showed a smaller plant size, higher cation contents and strong correlations between all element concentrations. NMET populations did not differ in plant size from the CAL ones, but had higher Zn and Ni contents. The CAL populations showed higher Cd and Mn accumulations and lower Ca contents. The trade-off between biomass production and Cd, Ni and Zn accumulation was high in SERP populations and low in the CAL and NMET ones.
N. caerulescens is a genetically diverse species, showing specific features depending on the group and the population. These features may reflect the wide adaptive capacities of the species, and also reveal promising potential for phytoextraction of Cd, Ni and Zn.
KeywordsHyperaccumulation Phenotyping Genetic variability Major element Trace metal
Authors are grateful to Fabrice Roux (Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales) and Nausicaa Noret (Laboratory of Plant Ecology and Biogeochemistry) for providing seeds and Romain Goudon of the Laboratoire Sols et Environnement for its precious help. They also thank Maxime Pauwels for carefully revising the manuscript.
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