Cadmium accumulation and physiological response of sunflower plants to Cd during the vegetative growing cycle
S. De Maria, M. Puschenreiter, A.R. Rivellihttps://doi.org/10.17221/788/2012-PSECitation:De Maria S., Puschenreiter M., Rivelli A.R. (2013): Cadmium accumulation and physiological response of sunflower plants to Cd during the vegetative growing cycle . Plant Soil Environ., 59: 254-261.
The effects of soil cadmium (Cd) contamination on Cd accumulation and distribution, growth and physiological responses of sunflower plants were investigated. Plants were subject to six levels of soil contamination (from 2.5 to 15 mg Cd kg/soil) with an untreated control, from the emergence of the cotyledon leaves until the harvest, when plants were at the flower bud stage. An overall increase of Cd concentration was found in all tissues of the plants (roots, stem, young, mature and old leaves) by increasing the Cd contamination in the soil. Regardless of treatments, Cd concentration in roots always exceeded those in the aboveground dry matter with a low translocation from roots to shoots. At early stage of growth, Cd concentration in plants was higher than at the flower bud stage. Soil Cd contamination did not affect plant growth, relative water content and gas exchange parameters. Negative and significant correlation was only found between Cd concentration in the young leaves and chlorophyll concentration at the end of vegetative growing stage. Roots and old leaves are the main metal sinks suggesting a defense or tolerance mechanism of the plants to avoid toxic levels in physiologically most active apical tissues. These results should be tested in open field to verify the suitability of sunflower in the area of phytotechnologies.