Sodium chloride decreases cadmium accumulation and changes the response of metabolites to cadmium stress in the halophyte Carpobrotus rossii Academic Article uri icon


  • Background and Aims:Salinity affects the bioavailability of cadmium (Cd) in soils and Cd accumulation in plants, but the associated mechanisms remain unclear. This study aimed to assess the metabolic response to NaCl and Cd and the relationship between metabolites and Cd accumulation in the halophyte Carpobrotus rossii, which has potential for Cd phytoextraction. Methods:Plants were grown in nutrient solution with 0-400 mm NaCl in the presence of 5 or 15 µm Cd, with varied or constant solution Cd2+ activity. Plant growth and Cd uptake were measured, and the accumulation of peptides, and organic and amino acids in plant tissues were assessed. Key Results:The addition of NaCl to Cd-containing solutions improved plant growth along with 70-87 % less shoot Cd accumulation, resulting from decreases in Cd root uptake and root-to-shoot translocation irrespective of Cd2+ activity in solutions. Moreover, Cd exposure increased the concentration of phytochelatins, which correlated positively with Cd concentrations in plants regardless of NaCl addition. In comparison, Cd inhibited the synthesis of organic acids in shoots and roots in the absence of NaCl, but increased it in shoots in the presence of NaCl. While Cd increased the concentrations of amino acids in plant shoots, the effect of NaCl on the synthesis of amino acids was inconsistent. Conclusions:Our data provide the first evidence that NaCl decreased Cd shoot accumulation in C. rossii by decreasing Cd root uptake and root-to-shoot translocation even under constant Cd2+ activity. The present study also supports the important role of peptides and organic acids, particular of phytochelatins, in Cd tolerance and accumulation although the changes of those metabolites was not the main reason for the decreased Cd accumulation.

publication date

  • 2018