Tolerance Mechanisms to Copper and Zinc Excess in Rhizophora mucronata Lam. Seedlings Involve Cell Wall Sequestration and Limited Translocation

  • Supakson Torasa
  • Pimpakan Boonyarat
  • Amornrat Phongdara
  • Pimchanok BuapetEmail author


Rhizophora mucronata is a common mangrove growing in habitats subjected to heavy metal (HM) contamination. Understanding their physiological responses to copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) excess and underlying tolerance mechanisms is crucial to assess impacts of metal pollution on mangrove community. Seedlings were treated with Cu or Zn (0, 50 or 100 mg per plant) by means of a single addition. At day 3 and 7, Cu and Zn accumulation, photosynthetic efficiency, superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activity, non-protein thiols, reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation in roots and leaves were measured. R. mucronata restricted Cu and Zn translocation, thus accumulated HM mainly in roots while kept the leaves unaffected. However, high root HM did not induce oxidative stress nor anti-oxidative defense as HM were largely deposited in cell wall. We concluded that HM tolerance strategies of R. mucronata seedlings are exclusion and restriction of translocation to the vital photosynthetic tissue.


Rhizophora mucronata Copper Zinc Phytotoxicity Physiology 



This work was supported by Thailand Research Fund (TRF Grant No. MRG6080076). We also thank Asst. Prof. Dr. Siriporn Pradit for technical advice.

Supplementary material

128_2019_2589_MOESM1_ESM.tif (181 kb)
Supplementary material 1—Fig. S1 Conceptual diagram showing mechanisms of heavy metal tolerance in Rhizophora mucronata (TIF 180 KB)


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biology, Faculty of SciencePrince of Songkla UniversitySongkhlaThailand
  2. 2.Coastal Oceanography and Climate Change Research CenterPrince of Songkla UniversitySongkhlaThailand
  3. 3.Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics Research, Faculty of SciencePrince of Songkla UniversitySongkhlaThailand

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