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Planta. 2000 Dec;212(1):75-84.

Cellular compartmentation of cadmium and zinc in relation to other elements in the hyperaccumulator Arabidopsis halleri.

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Universität Konstanz, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Sektion, Fachbereich Biologie, Konstanz, Germany.


The cellular compartmentation of elements was analysed in the Zn hyperaccumulator Arabidopsis halleri (L.) O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz (=Cardaminopsis halleri) using energy-dispersive X-ray microanalysis of frozen-hydrated tissues. Quantitative data were obtained using oxygen as an internal standard in the analyses of vacuoles, whereas a peak/background ratio method was used for quantification of elements in pollen and dehydrated trichomes. Arabidopsis halleri was found to hyperaccumulate not only Zn but also Cd in the shoot biomass. While large concentrations of Zn and Cd were found in the leaves and roots, flowers contained very little. In roots grown hydroponically, Zn and Cd accumulated in the cell wall of the rhizodermis (root epidermis), mainly due to precipitation of Zn/Cd phosphates. In leaves, the trichomes had by far the largest concentrations of Zn and Cd. Inside the trichomes there was a striking sub-cellular compartmentation, with almost all the Zn and Cd being accumulated in a narrow ring in the trichome base. This distribution pattern was very different from that for Ca and P. The epidermal cells other than trichomes were very small and contained lower concentrations of Zn and Cd than mesophyll cells. In particular, the concentrations of Cd and Zn in the mesophyll cells increased markedly in response to increasing Zn and Cd concentrations in the nutrient solution. This indicates that the mesophyll cells in the leaves of A. halleri are the major storage site for Zn and Cd, and play an important role in their hyperaccumulation.

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