Accumulation and ultrastructural distribution of copper in Elsholtzia splendens.J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2005 May; 6(5):311-8.JZ
Copper accumulation and intracellular distribution in Elsholtzia splendens, a native Chinese Cu-tolerant and accumulating plant species, was investigated by transmission electron microscope (TEM) and gradient centrifugation techniques. Copper concentrations in roots, stems and leaves of E. splendens increased with increasing Cu levels in solution. After exposure to 500 micromol/L Cu for 8 d, about 1000 mg/kg Cu were accumulated in the stem and 250 mg/kg Cu in the leaf of E. splendens. At 50 micromol/L Cu, no significant toxicity was observed in the chloroplast and mitochondrion within its leaf cells, but separation appeared at the cytoplasm and the cell wall within the root cells. At >250 micromol/L Cu, both root and leaf cell organelles in E. splendens were damaged heavily by excessive Cu in vivo. Copper subcellular localization in the plant leaf after 8 days' exposure to 500 micromol/L Cu using gradient centrifugation techniques was found to be decreased in the order: chloroplast>cell wall>soluble fraction>other organelles. The plant root cell wall was found to be the site of highest Cu localization. Increase of Cu exposure time from 8 d to 16 d, increased slightly Cu concentration in cell wall fraction in roots and leaves, while that in the chloroplast fraction decreased in leaves of the plants grown in both 0.25 micromol/L and 500 micromol/L Cu. TEM confirmed that much more Cu localized in cell walls of E. splendens roots and leaves, but also more Cu localized in E. splendens' chloroplast when the plant is exposed to Cu levels>250 micromol/L, as compared to those in the plant grown in 0.25 micromol/L Cu. Copper treatment at levels>250 micromol/L caused pronounced damage in the leaf chloroplast and root organelles. Copper localization in cell walls and chloroplasts could mainly account for the high detoxification of Cu in E. splendens.