Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 1315–1322 | Cite as

Copper accumulation, translocation, and toxic effects in grapevine cuttings

  • Kai-Wei Juang
  • Yung-I Lee
  • Hung-Yu Lai
  • Chiung-Huei Wang
  • Bo-Ching ChenEmail author
Research Article



Although the ecotoxicological effects of copper (Cu) on grapevine are of global concern due to the intensive and long-term application of Cu-based fungicides in vineyards, comparatively little is known about the phytotoxicity, accumulation, and translocation of Cu in grapevines. Therefore, this study was to conduct a hydroponic experiment to determine the influence of solution Cu concentration not only on bioaccumulation and the translocation of Cu in grapevine roots, stems, and leaves, but also on the subsequent growth inhibition of the roots.


Grapevine cuttings were grown for 30 days and then exposed to various Cu concentrations (0.1–50 μM) for 15 days. The dose–response profile was described by a sigmoid Hill equation. Optical microscopy was used to examine the cytotoxicity of Cu on the roots. In addition, bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) and translocation factors (TFs) were calculated from the results of the hydroponic experiment.


Copper was tolerated by grapevines at a concentration ≤1 μM. The median inhibition concentration (IC50) obtained from the Hill model was 3.94 μM (95% confidence interval, 3.65–4.24). From the light micrographs of root tip cells, signs of toxicity including increased vacuolization and plasmolysis were observed at solution Cu concentrations ≥10 μM. In addition, a higher Cu concentration was found in the roots (25–12,000 mg kg−1) than in the stems (5–540 mg kg−1) and leaves (7–46 mg kg−1), indicating a very limited translocation of Cu from the roots to the aboveground parts.


This study investigated not only the macroscopic root growth and Cu accumulation by grapevine, but also the microscopic changes in root tissue at the cell level after the exposure experiment. Based on the BAFs and TFs, the grapevine could be considered a Cu-exclusive plant. For toxic effects on the exposure of roots to Cu, this study also revealed that root growth, as well as the histological changes in rhizodermal cells, can be used as phytotoxic indicators of grapevine under Cu stress.


Copper Grapevine Hill model Hydroponics Light micrograph Root elongation 



This research was financially supported by the National Science Council, Taiwan, Republic of China, under grant nos. NSC 98-2313-B-451-004-MY3 and NSC 97-2313-B-451-009-MY3. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for providing many constructive comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai-Wei Juang
    • 1
  • Yung-I Lee
    • 2
  • Hung-Yu Lai
    • 3
  • Chiung-Huei Wang
    • 1
  • Bo-Ching Chen
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of AgronomyNational Chiayi UniversityChiayiRepublic of China
  2. 2.National Museum of Natural ScienceTaichungRepublic of China
  3. 3.Department of Post-Modern AgricultureMingDao UniversityChanghuaRepublic of China

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