The effects of cadmium (Cd) supply level in nutrient solution (0, 12.5, 25, 50, 100, 200, 400, and 800 μM) on growth, Cd accumulation ability, and the related physiological indices of maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings were studied under hydroponic conditions. The results showed that the increments in the shoot height and biomass were stimulated at relatively low external Cd supply levels (<100 μM), while they were inhibited at Cd supply levels over 200 μM. Cd accumulation ability of the maize seedlings also showed the similar stimulation/inhibition pattern as shoot growth, and the Cd contents in the shoots and roots reached the peaks (389.5 and 505.5 mg/kg dry wt, respectively) at 50 μM Cd. The contents of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoids in the maize leaf blades decreased with increasing external Cd supply level. At the highest Cd supply level (800 μM), the contents of chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoids in the leaf blade were only 38.9, 46.0, and 29.7% of the control plants, respectively. Moreover, chlorophyll b was more sensitive to the Cd stress than chlorophyll a. The increased proline content in the leaf blade of maize seedlings resulted from external Cd stress indicates that maize can adapt to the adversity menace via changing the content of proline.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 17, 2013
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