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Variations in the accumulation and translocation of cadmium among pak choi cultivars as related to root morphology

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A pot experiment was performed to investigate the variations in cadmium (Cd) accumulation among pak choi cultivars and its relationships to root morphology. The biomass, Cd accumulation and root morphology of 20 pak choi cultivars were determined in low and high Cd treatments. Significant variations in Cd accumulation and root morphological parameters were observed between pak choi cultivars. Cd concentrations in shoots differed between cultivars by a factor of 2.3 (13.3–30.8 μg g–1) and 2.6 (35.5–94.0 μg g–1) for low and high Cd treatments, respectively. The total Cd in plants positively correlated to the root length, root surface area, root volume, and root length/shoot biomass ratio in both Cd treatments. The shoot Cd concentration was also positively correlated with the root length, root surface area, and root length/shoot biomass ratio. Moreover, the proportion of fine roots (diameter less than 0.2 mm) was positively correlated with the total Cd in plants in low Cd treatment, and positively correlated with percentage of Cd in shoots in high Cd treatment. These results suggested that root morphology might be partially responsible for variation of Cd accumulation among pak choi cultivars. High Cd cultivars exhibit longer root length, greater root surface area, higher root volume, and a higher proportion of fine roots than low Cd cultivars.

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Financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31370515) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Gangrong Shi.

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Responsible editor: Elena Maestri

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Xia, S., Deng, R., Zhang, Z. et al. Variations in the accumulation and translocation of cadmium among pak choi cultivars as related to root morphology. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 9832–9842 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-016-6210-7

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  • Pak choi
  • Cultivar variation
  • Cd accumulation
  • Root morphology
  • Root-to-shoot translocation