Salinity decreases Cd translocation by altering Cd speciation in the halophytic Cd-accumulator Carpobrotus rossii Academic Article uri icon


  • Background and Aims:Salt has been shown to affect Cd translocation and accumulation in plants but the associated mechanisms are unclear. This study examined the effects of salt type and concentration on Cd uptake, translocation and accumulation in Carpobrotus rossii. Methods:Plants were grown in nutrient solution with the same Cd concentration or Cd2+ activity in the presence of 25 mm NaNO3, 12.5 mm Na2SO4 or 25 mm NaCl for ≤10 d. Plant growth and Cd uptake were measured and the accumulation of peptides and organic acids, and Cd speciation in plant tissues were analysed. Key Results:Salt addition decreased shoot Cd accumulation by >50 % due to decreased root-to-shoot translocation, irrespective of salt type. Synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy revealed that, after 10 d, 61-94 % Cd was bound to S-containing ligands (Cd-S) in both roots and shoots, but its speciation was not affected by salt. In contrast, Cd in the xylem sap was present either as free Cd2+ or complexes with carboxyl groups (Cd-OH). When plants were exposed to Cd for ≤24 h, 70 % of the Cd in the roots was present as Cd-OH rather than Cd-S. However, NaCl addition decreased the proportion of Cd-OH in the roots within 24 h by forming Cd-Cl complexes and increasing the proportion of Cd-S. This increase in Cd-S complexes by salt was not due to changes in glutathione and phytochelatin synthesis. Conclusions:Salt addition decreased shoot Cd accumulation by decreasing Cd root-to-shoot translocation due to the rapid formation of Cd-S complexes (low mobility) within the root, without changing the concentrations of glutathione and phytochelatins.

publication date

  • 2019