Plant and Soil

, Volume 219, Issue 1–2, pp 21–28 | Cite as

Cd2+ effects on transmembrane electrical potential difference, respiration and membrane permeability of rice (Oryza sativa L) roots.

  • Andreu Llamas
  • Cornelia I. Ullrich
  • Amparo Sanz


Among other detrimental effects of the heavy metal Cd2+, a decrease in the plant content of essential mineral nutrients is known. In this study, the effect of Cd2+ on different physiological activities of rice roots involved in nutrient acquisition has been studied. Upon addition of 0.1 or 1 mM Cd2+ to the experimental solution, root cell membranes depolarized in few minutes, reaching very low Em values. This effect was transient and the initial membrane potential recovered totally within 6–8 h. Only the highest concentration used had an inhibitory effect on root respiration. Significant respiratory inhibition appeared after 2 h of exposure to Cd2+ and lasted for at least 4 h. In turn, membrane permeability increased in the presence of Cd2+ for at least 8 h, inducing K+ efflux from the roots. The relationship between these parameters and their possible involvement in lowered nutrient content in Cd2+-treated plants is discussed.

cadmium membrane permeability Oryza sativa respiration transmembrane electrical potential difference (Em) 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreu Llamas
  • Cornelia I. Ullrich
  • Amparo Sanz

There are no affiliations available

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