Journal of plant physiology

Accumulation and distribution of iron, cadmium, lead and nickel in cucumber plants grown in hydroponics containing two different chelated iron supplies.

PMID 21342715


Cucumber plants grown in hydroponics containing 10 μM Cd(II), Ni(II) and Pb(II), and iron supplied as Fe(III) EDTA or Fe(III) citrate in identical concentrations, were investigated by total-reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry with special emphasis on the determination of iron accumulation and distribution within the different plant compartments (root, stem, cotyledon and leaves). The extent of Cd, Ni and Pb accumulation and distribution were also determined. Generally, iron and heavy-metal contaminant accumulation was higher when Fe(III) citrate was used. The accumulation of nickel and lead was higher by about 20% and 100%, respectively, if the iron supply was Fe(III) citrate. The accumulation of Cd was similar. In the case of Fe(III) citrate, the total amounts of Fe taken up were similar in the control and heavy-metal-treated plants (27-31 μmol/plant). Further, the amounts of iron transported from the root towards the shoot of the control, lead- and nickel-contaminated plants were independent of the iron(III) form. Although Fe mobility could be characterized as being low, its distribution within the shoot was not significantly affected by the heavy metals investigated.