Terrestrial environment

Toxicity and subcellular distribution of cadmium in wheat as affected by dissolved organic acids

Dandan Li , Dongmei Zhou


Received November 04, 2011,Revised December 16, 2011, Accepted , Available online May 06, 2012

Volume 24,2012,Pages 903-911

We aim to investigate the effects of humic acid (HA) and citric acid (CA) on the toxicity and subcellular distribution of Cd in wheat. Results show that the toxicity and uptake of Cd decreased with increasing HA. The EC50 values of Cd increased from 3.36 μmol/L to 4.96 and 7.33 μmol/L at 50 and 250 mg/L HA, respectively, but decreased to 1.39 μmol/L in the presence of CA based on free ion activity model (FIAM). HA decreased the relative subcellular distribution of Cd in the heat-denatured proteins (decreased from 54% to 33%) but increased Cd in the heat-stable proteins in root (from 25% to 50%) at 7.61 μmol/L {Cd2+} (free Cd activity), which resulted in decreasing Cd toxicity. However, CA increased Cd toxicity due to the increased internalization of Cd although the relative subcellular distributions of Cd exhibited a decrease in the heat-denatured proteins and increase in the granule fraction compared to the control at high-level Cd. The FIAM could not predict the toxicity of Cd in the presence of organic acids. Alternatively, the internal Cd accumulation and subcellular Cd concentration were better to describe the toxicity of Cd to wheat.

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