Cadmium concentration in terminal tissues as tools to select low-cadmium wheat
Background and aim
The consumption of cadmium-contaminated food adversely affects human health. Heritable variation for the propensity to accumulate cadmium in the grain exists, but is a difficult selection target, given the practical limitations of breeding operations. The main objective of this study is to assess the feasibility and accuracy of selecting low-cadmium lines during grain filling using cadmium concentration in terminal tissues.
Cadmium and other mineral concentrations in terminal tissues of two low- and high-cadmium winter wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.) were measured at 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks after average anthesis (WAAA) and at maturity in two years.
Cadmium concentration in grain at 3 and 4 WAAA, in rachis at 2, 4 and 5 WAAA, and in the terminal vegetative node at 3 and 4 WAAA separated high- and low-cadmium cultivars. Controlling disease with fungicides did not affect the ability to select low-cadmium cultivars. Across environments, low-cadmium cultivars had lower concentration of cadmium, but similar concentration of iron and zinc in developing and mature grains, compared to the high-cadmium cultivars.
Low-cadmium lines can be selected before harvest using Cd concentration in terminal tissues. It is possible to select low-cadmium lines that are consistently low across environments.
KeywordsTriticum aestivum Iron Zinc Rachis Flag leaf Terminal node
This project is based on research that was partially supported by the Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station with funding from the Hatch Act (Accession Number 0232571) through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This project was also partially supported by Chinese Scholarship Council. We would like to acknowledge Dr. Javier Seravalli and the University of Nebraska Redox Biology Center Proteomics and Metabolomics Core for conducting the ICP-MS assays.
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