Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 969–977 | Cite as

Salicylic acid-mediated alleviation of cadmium toxicity in hemp plants in relation to cadmium uptake, photosynthesis, and antioxidant enzymes

Original Paper

Abstract

To assess the role of salicylic acid (SA) in alleviating cadmium (Cd) toxicity in hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) plants, the growth parameters, Cd accumulation, photosynthetic performance and activities of major antioxidant enzymes were investigated in hemp seedlings treated with 500 μM SA, under 0, 25, 50, and 100 mg Cd kg−1 sands (DW) conditions, respectively. Cd exposure resulted in a small reduction in biomass (12.0–26.9% for root, and 8.7–29.4% for shoot, respectively), indicating hemp plants have innate capacity to tolerant Cd stress. This was illustrated by little inhibition in photosynthetic performance, unchanged malondialdehyde content, and enhancement of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidases (POD) activities in hemp plants. Cd content in root is 25.0–29.5 times’ higher than that in shoot, suggesting the plant can be classified as a Cd excluder. It is concluded that SA pretreatment counteracted the Cd-induced inhibition in plant growth. The beneficial effects of SA in alleviating Cd toxicity can be attributed to the SA-induced reduction of Cd uptake, improvement of photosynthetic capacity, and enhancement of SOD and POD activities.

Keywords

Antioxidant enzyme Cadmium Cannabis sativa Photosynthesis Salicylic acid 

Abbreviations

Car

Carotenoids

CAT

Catalase

Chl

Chlorophyll

Ci

Intercellular CO2 concentration

E

Transpiration rate

F

Steady-state chlorophyll fluorescence yield

Fo

The minimal fluorescence

Fm

The maximal fluorescence

Fm

The maximal fluorescence of light-adapted leaf

Fv

The variable fluorescence

Fv/Fm

Maximal quantum yield of PS II

Gs

Stomatal conductance

MDA

Malondialdehyde

PS II

Photosystem II

PS I

Photosystem I

Pn

Net-photosynthetic rate

POD

Peroxidases

ΦPS II

The effective quantum yield of PS II

Rd

Dark respiration

ROS

Reactive-oxygen species

SOD

Superoxide dismutase

TF

Translocation factor

Notes

Acknowledgments

Financial support from the natural science foundation of Jiangsu province (BK2006148) and the natural science foundation for college of Anhui province (KJ2008B66ZC, KJ2009B073) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life SciencesNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.The Anui Provincial Key Laboratory of the Resource Plant Biology, Department of BiologyHuaibei Coal Industry Teachers CollegeHuaibeiPeople’s Republic of China

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