Nitrate facilitates cadmium uptake, transport and accumulation in the hyperaccumulator Sedum plumbizincicola

Pengjie Hu, Yong Gen Yin, Satoru Ishikawa, Nobuo Suzui, Naoki Kawachi, Shu Fujimaki, Masato Igura, Cheng Yuan, Jiexue Huang, Zhu Li, Tomoyuki Makino, Yongming Luo, Peter Christie, Longhua Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


The aims of this study are to investigate whether and how the nitrogen form (nitrate (NO3 -) versus ammonium (NH4 +)) influences cadmium (Cd) uptake and translocation and subsequent Cd phytoextraction by the hyperaccumulator species Sedum plumbizincicola. Plants were grown hydroponically with N supplied as either NO3 - or NH4 +. Short-term (36 h) Cd uptake and translocation were determined innovatively and quantitatively using a positron-emitting 107Cd tracer and positron-emitting tracer imaging system. The results show that the rates of Cd uptake by roots and transport to the shoots in the NO3 - treatment were more rapid than in the NH4 + treatment. After uptake for 36 h, 5.6 (0.056 μM) and 29.0 % (0.290 μM) of total Cd in the solution was non-absorbable in the NO3 - and NH4 + treatments, respectively. The local velocity of Cd transport was approximately 1.5-fold higher in roots (3.30 cm h-1) and 3.7-fold higher in shoots (10.10 cm h-1) of NO3 -- than NH4 +-fed plants. Autoradiographic analysis of 109Cd reveals that NO3 - nutrition enhanced Cd transportation from the main stem to branches and young leaves. Moreover, NO3 - treatment increased Cd, Ca and K concentrations but inhibited Fe and P in the xylem sap. In a 21-day hydroponic culture, shoot biomass and Cd concentration were 1.51 and 2.63 times higher in NO3 -- than in NH4 +-fed plants. We conclude that compared with NH4 +, NO3 - promoted the major steps in the transport route followed by Cd from solution to shoots in S. plumbizincicola, namely its uptake by roots, xylem loading, root-to-shoot translocation in the xylem and uploading to the leaves. S. plumbizincicola prefers NO3 - nutrition to NH4 + for Cd phytoextraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6306-6316
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep
Externally publishedYes


  • Ammonium
  • Cadmium
  • Nitrate
  • Positron-emitting tracer imaging system (PETIS)
  • Sedum plumbizincicola
  • Transport
  • Uptake
  • Xylem sap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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