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J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2013 Feb;14(2):106-14. doi: 10.1631/jzus.B1200211.

Improved cadmium uptake and accumulation in the hyperaccumulator Sedum alfredii: the impact of citric acid and tartaric acid.

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  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Environmental Remediation and Ecological Health, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China.


The elucidation of a natural strategy for metal hyperaccumulation enables the rational design of technologies for the clean-up of metal-contaminated soils. Organic acid has been suggested to be involved in toxic metallic element tolerance, translocation, and accumulation in plants. The impact of exogenous organic acids on cadmium (Cd) uptake and translocation in the zinc (Zn)/Cd co-hyperaccumulator Sedum alfredii was investigated in the present study. By the addition of organic acids, short-term (2 h) root uptake of (109)Cd increased significantly, and higher (109)Cd contents in roots and shoots were noted 24 h after uptake, when compared to controls. About 85% of the (109)Cd taken up was distributed to the shoots in plants with citric acid (CA) treatments, as compared with 75% within controls. No such effect was observed for tartaric acid (TA). Reduced growth under Cd stress was significantly alleviated by low CA. Long-term application of the two organic acids both resulted in elevated Cd in plants, but the effects varied with exposure time and levels. The results imply that CA may be involved in the processes of Cd uptake, translocation and tolerance in S. alfredii, whereas the impact of TA is mainly on the root uptake of Cd.

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