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Effects of cadmium on cork oak (Quercus suber L.) plants grown in hydroponics

AuthorsGogorcena Aoiz, Yolanda CSIC ORCID ; Larbi, Ajmi; Andaluz, Sofía CSIC; Carpena-Ruiz, Ramón O.; Abadía Bayona, Anunciación CSIC ORCID ; Abadía Bayona, Javier CSIC ORCID
ferric chelate reductase
heavy metals
iron chlorosis
organic acids
photosynthetic pigments
PS(II) efficiency
Issue Date2011
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationGogorcena Y, Larbi A, Andaluz S, Carpena RO, Abadía A, Abadía J. Effects of cadmium on cork oak (Quercus suber L.) plants grown in hydroponics. Tree physiology 31 (12): 1401-1412 (2011)
AbstractCork oak (Quercus suber L.) is an autochthonous tree species that is being used for reforestation in heavy metal-contaminated areas in Spain. A hydroponics experiment was carried out to characterize the effects of Cd on several morphological and physiological parameters in this species, including shoot length, nutrient concentrations and allocation in different organs, leaf pigment concentrations, photosynthetic efficiency, root ferric chelate reductase activity, and organic acid concentrations in xylem sap. Four different Cd treatments were applied, adding Cd chelated with EDTA or as chloride salt at two different concentrations (10 and 50 µM Cd). After one month of Cd-treatment, plant growth was significantly inhibited in all treatments. Results indicate that Cd accumulates in all organs 7- to 500-fold when compared to control plants. The highest Cd concentration was found in the 50 M CdCl2 treatment, which led to concentrations of approximately 30, 123 and 1153 µg Cd g-1 DW in leaves, stems and roots, respectively. In the strongest Cd treatments the concentrations of P and Ca decreased in some plant parts, whereas the Mn leaf concentrations decreased with three of the four Cd treatments applied. The concentrations of chlorophyll and carotenoids on an area basis decreased, whereas the (zeaxanthin plus antheraxanthin)/(total violaxanthin cycle carotenoids) ratio and the non-photochemical quenching increased significantly in all Cd treatments. Cadmium treatments caused significant increases in the activity of the enzyme ferric chelate reductase in roots and in the concentrations of organic acids in the xylem sap. Some of the physiological changes found support that Cd induces a deficiency of Fe in cork oak, although the plant Fe concentrations were not reduced significantly. At higher concentrations the effects of Cd were more pronounced, and were more marked when Cd was in the free ion form than when present in the form of Cd-EDTA.
Description38 Pags., 3 Tabls., 5 Figs. The definitive version is available at:
Publisher version (URL)
ISSN1758-4469 - Print ISSN 0829-318X
E-ISSN1758-4469 - Print ISSN 0829-318X
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