Age-dependent differences in the responses of 3-day-old (the phase of seed germination) and 7-day-old (the phase of seedlings) of barley (Hordeum vulgare L., cv. Zazerskii 85) plants to treatment with cadmium (100 μM). Four-day-long exposure to the cadmium solution retarded root growth and suppression of the photosynthetic apparatus in germinating seeds, whereas in seedlings, the roots continued to grow actively and parameters characterizing functioning of the photosynthetic apparatus were close to control values. In the presence of cadmium, in the roots of plants the level of HvPCS gene encoding phytochelatin synthase and the content of phytochelatins (PC) increased independently of the plant age. Distinctly, changes in the content of reduced glutathione (GSH) depended on the plant age: in 3-day-old seedlings the content of GSH reduced after 40-day-long exposure to cadmium; in contrast, in 7-day-old plants, it increased. We concluded that differences in the tolerance to cadmium of plants differing in age are related to their anatomic, morphological, physiological, and biochemical properties corresponding to particular developmental stages and also to differences in functioning of different mechanisms of metal detoxification, in particular, to activation of GSH synthesis and a great increase in the content of PC in the older plants.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 23, 2011
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