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Plant Physiol. 1996 Dec;112(4):1715-1722.

Physiological Characterization of Root Zn2+ Absorption and Translocation to Shoots in Zn Hyperaccumulator and Nonaccumulator Species of Thlaspi.

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  • 1United States Plant, Soil, and Nutrition Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 (M.M.L., L.V.K.).


Radiotracer techniques were employed to characterize 65Zn2+ influx into the root symplasm and translocation to the shoot in Thlaspi caerulescens, a Zn hyperaccumulator, and Thlaspi arvense, a nonaccumulator. A protocol was developed that allowed us to quantify unidirectional 65Zn2+ influx across the root-cell plasma membrane (20 min of radioactive uptake followed by 15 min of desorption in a 100 [mu]M ZnCl2 + 5 mM CaCl2 solution). Concentration-dependent Zn2+ influx in both Thlaspi species yielded nonsaturating kinetic curves that could be resolved into linear and saturable components. The linear kinetic component was shown to be cell-wall-bound Zn2+ remaining in the root after desorption, and the saturable component was due to Zn2+ influx across the root-cell plasma membrane. This saturable component followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with similar apparent Michaelis constant values for T. caerulescens and T. arvense (8 and 6 [mu]M, respectively). However, the maximum initial velocity for Zn2+ influx in T. caerulescens root cells was 4.5-fold higher than for T. arvense, indicating that enhanced absorption into the root is one of the mechanisms involved in Zn hyperaccumulation. After 96 h 10-fold more 65Zn was translocated to the shoot of T. caerulescens compared with T. arvense. This indicates that transport sites other than entry into the root symplasm are also stimulated in T. caerulescens. We suggest that although increased root Zn2+ influx is a significant component, transport across the plasma membrane and tonoplast of leaf cells must also be critical sites for Zn hyperaccumulation in T. caerulescens.

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