Cannabis sativa L. growing on heavy metal contaminated soil: growth, cadmium uptake and photosynthesis

Abstract

The effects of different cadmium concentrations [17 mg(Cd) kg−1(soil) and 72 mg(Cd) kg− 1(soil)] on Cannabis sativa L. growth and photosynthesis were examined. Hemp roots showed a high tolerance to Cd, i.e. more than 800 mg(Cd) kg−1(d.m.) in roots had no major effect on hemp growth, whereas in leaves and stems concentrations of 50 – 100 mg(Cd) kg−1(d.m.) had a strong effect on plant viability and vitality. For control of heavy metal uptake and xylem loading in hemp roots, the soil pH plays a central role. Photosynthetic performance and regulation of light energy consumption were analysed using chlorophyll fluorescence analysis. Seasonal changes in photosynthetic performance were visible in control plants and plants growing on soil with 17 mg(Cd) kg−1(soil). Energy distribution in photosystem 2 is regulated in low and high energy phases that allow optimal use of light and protect photosystem 2 from overexcitation, respectively. Photosynthesis and energy dissipation were negatively influenced by 72 mg(Cd) kg−1(soil). Cd had detrimental effects on chlorophyll synthesis, water splitting apparatus, reaction centre, antenna and energy distribution of PS 2. Under moderate cadmium concentrations, i.e. 17 mg(Cd) kg−1(soil), hemp could preserve growth as well as the photosynthesis apparatus, and long-term acclimation to chronically Cd stress occurred.

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Abbreviations

AAS:

atomic absorption spectroscopy

Cd1, Cd2:

cadmium concentration 1, 2

d.m.:

dry mass

ET:

electron transport

f.m.:

fresh mass

PPFD:

photosynthetic photon flux density

PS 2:

photosystem 2

ΔpH:

proton gradient

ΦPS2 :

quantum efficiency of photosystem 2

qP :

photochemical quenching

qN :

non-photochemical quenching

qE :

energy dependent quenching

qT :

quenching related to state transition

qI :

photoinhibitory quenching

qF :

fast-relaxing non-photochemical quenching

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Linger, P., Ostwald, A. & Haensler, J. Cannabis sativa L. growing on heavy metal contaminated soil: growth, cadmium uptake and photosynthesis. Biol Plant 49, 567–576 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10535-005-0051-4

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Additional key words

  • acclimation
  • chlorophyll fluorescence
  • phytoextraction
  • quenching
  • tolerance