A comparative study of the physiological and biochemical properties of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum M.) and maize (Zea mays L.) under palladium stress.


Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. Electronic address: [Email]


There is great concern about the environmental impact and toxicity of palladium (Pd) because of its widespread use in automotive catalytic converters and other applications. Pd migrates and transforms in the environment and is absorbed by plant roots where it affects plant growth and eventually enters the food chain. Here we explored the effects of Pd on the physicochemical and biochemical characteristics of C3 (tomato) and C4 (maize) plants. We measured physicochemical and biochemical properties, including chlorophyll, protein, soluble sugar, antioxidant enzymes, malondialdehyde, proline, and root activity, in tomato and maize seedlings after cultivation in different concentrations of PdCl2 solution (0, 0.2, 0.5, and 1 mM) in order to observe how Pd stresses them. Results showed that, with increasing Pd concentration, chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b contents and root activity decreased. Meanwhile, malondialdehyde, proline, protein, and soluble sugar contents increased. After cultivation in 1 mM PdCl2, the Pd contents in the roots, stems, and leaves of tomato seedlings were 12.389, 1.132, and 0.206 mg/g, respectively. In general, Pd has significant effects on the physiological and biochemical properties of both tomato and maize. Additionally, tomato seedlings were more sensitive to Pd stress, photosynthesis in maize was less inhibited by Pd and the antioxidant capability of maize was stronger. These results indicated that maize (C4 plant) exhibited a higher tolerance to Pd than tomato (C3 plant). Pd migration in tomato was observed and the translocation factor (TF) was calculated. The values of TFstem/root, TFleaf/root, TFleaf/stem, and TFshoot/root were 0.09, 0.02, 0.18, and 0.11 in tomato seedlings, respectively. Pd accumulated most in the roots, followed in turn by stems, leaves, and only trace amount of Pd was transferred into shoots.


Accumulation,Migration,Palladium,Plants,Tolerance,Translocation factor,

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