Expression of Genes Associated with Nickel Resistance in Red Oak (Quercus rubra) Populations from a Metal Contaminated Region

  • Charnelle L. Djeukam
  • Kabwe Nkongolo


Although many studies have reported mechanisms of resistance to metals in herbaceous species, there is very little information on metal coping strategy in hardwood species such as Quercus rubra. The main objective of this study was to determine the expression of genes associated with nickel resistance in red oak (Q. rubra) populations from metal contaminated and uncontaminated sites in the Northern Ontario. Six genes associated with nickel resistances in model and non-model plants were targeted. Differential expressions of these genes were observed in Q. rubra from all the sites, but association between metal contamination and gene expression was not established. This suggests that the bioavailable amounts of metals found in metal contaminated soils in mining sites in northern Ontario and likely in many mining regions around the world cannot trigger a genetic response in higher plant species.


Quercus rubra Gene expression Soil metal contamination Northern Ontario 



This study was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Thanks to Dr. Gabriel Theriault for assistance with molecular analysis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada
  2. 2.Biomolecular Sciences ProgramLaurentian UniversitySudburyCanada

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