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Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Apr 1;39(7):2210-8.

Application of quantitative fluorescence and absorption-edge computed microtomography to image metal compartmentalization in Alyssum murale.

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Environmental Soil Chemistry Research Group, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19717-1303, USA.


This paper shows that synchrotron-based fluorescence and absorption-edge computed microtomographies (CMT) are well-suited for determining the compartmentalization and concentration of metals in hyperaccumulating plant tissues. Fluorescence CMT of intact leaf, stem, and root samples revealed that Ni concentrated in stem and leaf dermal tissues and, together with Mn, in distinct regions associated with the Ca-rich trichomes on the leaf surface of the nickel hyperaccumulator Alyssum murale "Kotodesh". Metal enrichment was also observed within the vascular system of the finer roots, stem, and leaves but absent from the coarser root, which had a well-correlated metal coating. Absorption-edge CMT showed the three-dimensional distribution of the highest metal concentrations and verified that epidermal localization and Ni and Mn co-localization at the trichome base are phenomena that occurred throughout the entire leaf and may contribute significantly to metal detoxification and storage. Ni was also observed in the leaf tips, possibly resulting from release of excess Ni with guttation fluids. These results are consistent with a transport model where Ni is removed from the soil by the finer roots, carried to the leaves through the stem xylem, and distributed throughout the leaf by the veins to the dermal tissues, trichome bases, and in some cases the leaf tips.

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