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Effects of cadmium on growth, photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll content in leaves of soybean seedlings


Cadmium is a widely spread pollutant and the objective of this study was to study the effects of different concentrations of Cd (0, 50, and 100 μM) on the soybean seedlings treated for 10 d. The growth was inhibited and chlorophyll content, net photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2 concentration, probability that a trapped exciton moves an electron into the electron transport chain beyond QA — (ETO/TRO), performance indexes (PIABS), and amount of active reaction centres per excited cross section (RC/CSO) were decreased with the increasing Cd concentration. The leaf reflectance increased in visual range (500–670 nm) and decreased in near-infrared range (750–1 000 nm). The accumulation of Cd in the roots was much higher than that in the stems and leaves.

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ci :

intercellular CO2 concentration


probability that a trapped exciton moves an electron into the electron transport chain beyond QA

gs :

stomatal conductance


photosynthetic photon flux density


performance indexes

PN :

net photosynthetic rate

PS :



amount of active reaction centres per excited cross section


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Correspondence to H. -Y. Gao.

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Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the State Key Basic Research and Development Plan of China (2009CB118500) and the China National Nature Science Foundation (No. 30671451; No. 30571125) for their financial support of this study.

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Xue, Z.C., Gao, H.Y. & Zhang, L.T. Effects of cadmium on growth, photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll content in leaves of soybean seedlings. Biol Plant 57, 587–590 (2013).

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Additional key words

  • chlorophyll fluorescence
  • Glycine max
  • reflectance
  • stomatal conductance