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Chemosphere. 2007 May;67(11):2257-66. Epub 2007 Jan 26.

Accumulation, speciation and cellular localization of copper in Sesbania drummondii.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101, USA. shiv.sahi@wku.edu


Growth, accumulation and intracellular speciation and distribution of copper (Cu) in Sesbania drummondii was studied using scanning-electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS). The growth of seedlings was assessed in terms of biomass accumulation. The growth of the seedling was enhanced by 73.5% at a low Cu concentration (50 mg l-1) compared to the control treatment. Additionally, seedling growth was inhibited by 18% at 300 mg l-1 Cu with respect to the control. Copper concentration in roots and shoots was increased with increasing Cu concentration in the growth solution. The accumulation of Cu was found to be higher in roots than in the shoots. At a concentration of 300 mg l-1 Cu, the roots accumulated 27,440 mg Cu kg-1 dry weight (dw) while shoots accumulated 1282 mg Cu kg-1 dw. Seedlings were assessed for photosynthetic activity by measuring chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters: Fv/Fm and Fv/F0 values. Photosynthetic integrity was not affected by any of the Cu treatments. The X-ray absorption spectroscopic (XAS) studies showed that Cu was predominantly present as Cu(II) in Sesbania tissue. In addition, from the XAS studies it was shown that the Cu exists in a mixture of different coordination states consisting of Cu bound to sugars and small organic acids with some possible precipitated copper oxide. From the EXAFS studies, the coordination of Cu was determined to have four equatorial oxygen(nitrogen) ligands at 1.96 A and two axial oxygen ligands at 2.31 A. Scanning-electron microscopy studies revealed the distribution of Cu within the seedlings tissues, predominantly accumulated in the cortical and vascular (xylem) regions of root tissues. In the stem, most of the Cu was found within the xylem tissue. However, the deposition of Cu within the leaf tissues was in the parenchyma. The present study demonstrates the mechanisms employed by S. drummondii for Cu uptake and its biotransformation.

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