International journal of molecular sciences

Can Clethra barbinervis Distinguish Nickel and Cobalt in Uptake and Translocation?

PMID 26370968


Clethra barbinervis Sieb. et Zucc. accumulates Nickel (Ni) and Cobalt (Co) at high concentrations., We hypothesized that C. barbinervis cannot distinguish between Ni and Co because of the similar chemical properties of these two elements. To confirm this hypothesis and understand the role of these elements in C. barbinervis, we conducted a hydroponic split-root experiment using Ni and Co solutions. We found that the bioconcentration factor (BCF; metal concentration of each tissue/metal concentrations of each treatment solution) of Ni and Co did not significantly differ in the roots, but the BCF for Co was higher than that for Ni in the leaves. The leaves of C. barbinervis accumulated Ni or Co at high concentrations. We also found the simultaneous accumulation of Ni and Co by the multiple heavy metal treatments (Ni and Co) at high concentrations similar to those for the single treatments (Ni or Co). Elevated sulfur concentrations occurred in the roots and leaves of Co-treated seedlings but not in Ni. This result indicates that S was related to Co accumulation in the leaves. These results suggest that C. barbinervis distinguishes between Ni and Co during transport and accumulation in the leaves but not during root uptake.