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J Inorg Biochem. 2002 Apr 10;89(1-2):149-54.

Determination of element distribution between the symplasm and apoplasm of cucumber plant parts by total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.

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  • 1Research Group of Environmental and Macromolecular Chemistry, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, L. Eötvös University, P.O. Box 32, H-1518 112, Budapest, Hungary.


The distribution of Cd, Ni, Pb and Fe between the symplasm (cytoplasm) and apoplasm (cell wall) of cucumber roots and leaves was determined by total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry following a special sample preparation procedure. The plants were grown in modified Hoagland nutrient solution containing Fe in chemical form of Fe(III)-citrate or Fe(III)-EDTA, as well as the heavy metal contaminants, each in concentration of 10 microM. In the roots the larger part of Pb was found in the apoplasm, while Ni and Cd were mostly in the symplasm. In the leaves however, about 50-60% of the Pb content and practically the total amount of Cd were detected in the symplasm. About 30-40% of the translocated Ni remained in the apoplasm of the leaves. The Cd-, Ni- and Pb-treatments resulted in higher total concentration of Fe in the roots, however, the relative amount of Fe in the symplasm decreased in all cases. In the leaves of the control plants the larger part (60-80%) of Fe occurs in the symplasm. Due to the heavy metal effects, the relative amount of Fe in the symplasm decreased except in the Pb-contaminated plants, where in the presence of Fe(III)-EDTA, the Pb treatment resulted in a moderate increment of Fe concentration in the symplasm.

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