Cereal Research Communications

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 52–60 | Cite as

Dissimilar Responses of Membrane Potential (EM), Permeability Properties and Respiration to Cadmium and Nickel in Maize Root Cells

  • R. Fiala
  • M. Luxová
  • M. Čiamporová
  • V. Repka
  • M. Martinka
  • J. PavlovkinEmail author


The short-term treatment with Cd2+ and Ni2+ triggered transient depolarization of transplasma membrane potential (EM) in the outer cortical root cells of two maize cultivars (cv. Premia and cv. Blitz), however, both metals changed the EM in a quantitatively different way. The magnitude and duration of EM depolarization were concentration dependent and were greater in the metal susceptible cv. Blitz. The highest EM depolarization was recorded with simultaneous application of Cd2+ + Ni2+ in both maize cultivars. The EM depolarization induced by Cd2+ or Cd2+ + Ni2+ but not Ni2+ alone was accompanied with a tremendous increase of membrane conductivity, but it was not accompanied with the effect of heavy metals (HM) on respiration. Simultaneous application of fusiccocin (FC) with Cd2+ or Cd2+ + Ni2+ during the EM depolarization, inability of FC to stop the depolarization by FC-enhanced proton extrusion and rapid restoration of EM, suggested a transient inhibition of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase by these toxic metals. Our data support the opinion that differences in the effects of the studied ions were not the result of their direct action on PM, but rather of their different influence on intracellular processes within root cells.


maize roots heavy metals (HM) trans-plasma membrane electrical potential (EMmembrane permeability respiration 


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© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2014

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Fiala
    • 1
  • M. Luxová
    • 1
  • M. Čiamporová
    • 1
  • V. Repka
    • 1
  • M. Martinka
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Pavlovkin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of BotanySlovak Academy of SciencesBratislavaSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Department of Plant Physiology, Faculty of Natural SciencesComenius UniversityBratislavaSlovak Republic

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