Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology
Print version ISSN 1677-0420
SRIDHAR, Balaji B. Maruthi et al. Effects of Zn and Cd accumulation on structural and physiological characteristics of barley plants. Braz. J. Plant Physiol. [online]. 2007, vol.19, n.1, pp. 15-22. ISSN 1677-0420. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1677-04202007000100002.
The objectives of this study were to identify the structural changes caused by Zn and Cd accumulation in shoots and roots of barley (Hordeum vulgare) plants; and to correlate metal accumulation with anatomical, physiological and morphological changes. Potted plants were exposed to metal treatments of Zn and Cd for 19 and 16 d respectively. Leaves, stems and roots were harvested to identify structural changes and analyze metal accumulation. Barley effectively accumulated Zn (up to 11283 mg kg-1) and Cd (up to 584 mg kg-1) in the shoots. Microscopic structural changes, such as a decrease in intercellular spaces, breakdown of vascular bundles, and shrinkage of palisade and epidermal cells, occurred in leaves, stems and roots of plants treated with high concentrations of Zn. Zinc accumulation also resulted in a significant decrease in water content, fresh weight, dry weight and plant height. Cadmium only caused structural changes in roots at the higher concentrations. Barley plants were able to accumulate significant amounts of Zn and Cd without exhibiting symptoms of phytotoxicity when the metal concentrations were relatively low.
Keywords : anatomy; cadmium; Hordeum vulgare; microscopy; phytoremediation; zinc.