alexa Silicon and heavy metal tolerance of higher plants.
Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation

Author(s): Neumann D, zur Nieden U

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Abstract The heavy metal tolerant Cardaminopsis halleri, grown on Zn and Cu polluted soil, showed electron dense metal containing precipitates (Zn, Cu, Sn, Fe, Al) on the leaf surface, in the intercellular spaces (Zn, Cu, Sn), the cell walls and the cell wall thickenings of the xylem vessels (Zn, traces of Cu and Fe). Large amounts of Zn were measured in the vacuoles, the main storage compartment for this metal in Cardarminopsis. The cytoplasm and nuclei contained small precipitates, including mainly Zn and Si. As shown by ESI Zn was co-localized with Si in these structures. The EEL-spectra of the cytoplasmic precipitates corresponded with the spectra of Zn-silicate. Besides Zn-silicate, electron translucent structures in the cytoplasm were identified as SiO2 by their EEL spectra. It was concluded that in the cytoplasm of Cardaminopsis Zn is transiently accumulated as silicate, being slowly degraded to SiO2. Zn is translocated into the vacuole and accumulated in an unknown form. A second Si and Zn-uptake mechanism was found, excluding a membrane and cytoplasm passage. Pinocytotic vesicles, formed by the plasmamembrane and the tonoplast, enable a direct translocation of Si and Zn from extracellular compartments into the vacuole. The formation of Zn-silicate is part of the heavy metal tolerance mechanism and may be responsible for the amelioration of the Zn toxicity in Cardaminopsis.
This article was published in Phytochemistry and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation

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