Inter- and intraspecific variations of cadmium accumulation of 13 leafy vegetable species in a greenhouse experiment.J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 31; 55(22):9118-23.JA
Leafy vegetables are among the crop species that are most vulnerable to heavy metal pollution. This study investigated inter- and intraspecific variations of cadmium accumulation in 13 species with a total of 39 cultivars of leafy vegetables under two levels of soil Cd stress (1.5 and 7.7 mg kg (-1)). Intraspecific variations of shoot biomass and Cd concentration of the tested leafy vegetables were significantly larger than interspecific variations under both Cd treatments and were also more significantly correlated between two Cd stress levels when grouped by cultivar than grouped by species. These results indicate that cultivar is a more reliable taxa level for screening pollutant-safe leafy vegetables than species. Any screening for pollutant hypoaccumulator species, or other similar species-based concepts, without considering intraspecific variation should be avoided.