A rapid, seedling-based bioassay for identifying low cadmium-accumulating individuals of Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L.).
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We have developed a seedling-based bioassay that iscapable of identifying low Cd-accumulating phenotypes(homozygous and heterozygous) after 96–120 h ofexposure. Our experiments were conducted using109Cd as a tracer at subtoxic concentrations tosimulate conditions that might be experienced in thefield. Supply of Cd (10-11 M) to 4-d oldseedlings for 0–8 h resulted in no differences in rootand leaf Cd content between the low (TL05) and high(TL04) Cd-accumulating isolines. Increasing time ofexposure produced significant differences in leaf Cdaccumulation between isolines, with differencesbecoming most pronounced after the bulk of appliedcadmium (∼ 95%) was depleted from absorption solutions(≥ 72 h). Similar results were obtained with8-d old seedlings, where differences between genotypeswere more pronounced in young leaves (2nd leaf) orshoot bases. Individuals from five low and highCd-accumulating near isogenic pairs (50individuals/isoline) were screened using Cdconcentration of shoot bases as the screeningcriterion. Mean scores within each isoline pair weresignificantly different, although overlap ofindividual scores was observed at intermediate foliarCd concentrations. The 2nd leaf to root Cdcontent ratio, which reflects root to shoottranslocation, provided a better parameter todistinguish low from high Cd-accumulating isolines. Plants used for this bioassay could also be rescuedfor subsequent experimental crosses, providing a rapidand cost-effective tool for early detection of the lowCd-accumulating phenotype.
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