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Ecotoxicology. 2014 Aug;23(6):1030-43. doi: 10.1007/s10646-014-1247-1. Epub 2014 May 8.

Classification of genetic variation for cadmium tolerance in Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] using physiological traits and molecular markers.

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Key Laboratory of Plant Germplasm Enhancement and Specialty Agriculture, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, 430074, Hubei, People's Republic of China.


Cadmium (Cd) is one of the most toxic pollutants that caused severe threats to animal and human health. Bermudagrass is a dominant species in Cd contaminated soils, which can prevent Cd flow and spread. The objectives of this study were to determine the genetic variations in major physiological traits related to Cd tolerance in six populations of Bermudagrass collected from China, and to examine the genetic diversity and relationships among these accessions that vary in Cd tolerance using molecular markers. Plants of 120 accessions (116 natural accessions and 4 commercial cultivars) were exposed to 0 (i.e. control) or 1.5 mM CdSO4ยท8/3H2O for 3 weeks in hydroponic culture. Turf quality, transpiration rate, chlorophyll content, leaf water content and growth rate showed wide phenotypic variation. The membership function method was used to comprehensively evaluate Cd-tolerance. According to the average subordinate function value, four accessions were classified as the most tolerant genotypes and four accessions as Cd-sensitive genotypes. The trend of Cd tolerance among the six studied populations was as follows: Hunan > South China > North China > Central China > West South China and Xinjiang population. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the majority of accessions from the same or adjacent regions were clustered into the same groups or subgroups, and the accessions with similar cadmium tolerance displayed a close phylogenetic relationship. Screening genetically diverse germplasm by combining the physiological traits and molecular markers could prove useful in developing Cd-tolerant Bermudagrass for the remediation of mill tailings and heavy metal polluted soils.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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