Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 26, pp 20897–20907 | Cite as

Tolerance of Japanese knotweed s.l. to soil artificial polymetallic pollution: early metabolic responses and performance during vegetative multiplication

  • Serge MichaletEmail author
  • Soraya Rouifed
  • Thomas Pellassa-Simon
  • Manon Fusade-Boyer
  • Guillaume Meiffren
  • Sylvie Nazaret
  • Florence Piola
Research Article


The expansion of invasive Japanese knotweed s.l. is of particular concern because of its aptitudes to rapidly colonize diverse environments, especially anthropized habitats generally characterized by their pollution with heavy metals. Whether the presence of heavy metals impacts the performance traits of this plant is a central question to better understand its invasive properties, though no controlled approach to assess these effects was yet reported. In this aim, we undertook greenhouse experiments where rhizome fragments of Japanese knotweed s.l. (Fallopia japonica and Fallopia × bohemica) were grown during 1 and 3 months, in a soil pot artificially polluted or not with heavy metals added in mixture (Cd, Cr, Pb, Zn). Our results showed that (i) the presence of heavy metals delayed rhizome regeneration and induced lowered plant part weights but did not affect plant height after 3 months; (ii) the effect of metals on the metabolic profiles of belowground part extracts was only detectable after 1 month and not after 3 months of growth, though it was possible to highlight the effect of metals independently of time and genotype for root extracts, and torosachrysone seemed to be the most induced compound; and (iii) the hybrid genotype tested was able to accumulate relatively high concentrations of metals, over or close to the highest reported ones for this plant for Cr, Cd and Zn, whereas Pb was not accumulated. These findings evidence that the presence of heavy metals in soil has a low impact on Fallopia sp. overall performance traits during rhizome regeneration, and has a rather stimulating effect on plant growth depending on pollution level.


Metallic trace elements Fallopia spp. (syn. Reynoutria spp.) Plant performance traits Metabolite profiling Plant secondary metabolites 



This study was funded by Initiative Structurante EC2CO (Ecosphère Continentale et Cotière), ECODYN (Ecotoxicologie, Ecodynamique des contaminants) and FR3728 BioEnviS (Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1).

We also thank the ‘Serre et chambres climatiques’ platform (Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, FR3728) and Elise Lacroix for her help with plant culture.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon1, CNRSVilleurbanneFrance
  2. 2.Université de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, ENTPE, CNRSVilleurbanneFrance

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