Silicon-enhanced resistance to cadmium toxicity in Brassica chinensis L. is attributed to Si-suppressed cadmium uptake and transport and Si-enhanced antioxidant defense capacity.J Hazard Mater. 2009 Dec 15; 172(1):74-83.JH
A series of hydroponics experiments were performed to investigate roles of silicon (Si) in enhancing cadmium (Cd) tolerance in two pakchoi (Brassica chinensis L.) cultivars: i.e. cv. Shanghaiqing, a Cd-sensitive cultivar, and cv. Hangyoudong, a Cd-tolerant cultivar. Plants were grown under 0.5 and 5 mg Cd L(-1) Cd stress without or with 1.5 mM Si. Plant growth of the Cd-tolerant cultivar was stimulated at the lower Cd level, but was decreased at the higher Cd level when plants were treated with Cd for one week. However, Plant growth was severely inhibited at both Cd levels as stress duration lasted for up to three weeks. Plant growth of the Cd-sensitive cultivar was severely inhibited at both Cd levels irrespective of Cd stress duration. Addition of Si increased shoot and root biomass of both cultivars at both Cd levels and decreased Cd uptake and root-to-shoot transport. Superoxide dismutase, catalase and ascorbate peroxidase activities decreased, but malondialdehyde and H2O2 concentrations increased at the higher Cd level, which were counteracted by Si added. Ascorbic acid, glutathione and non-protein thiols concentrations increased at the higher Cd level, which were further intensified by addition of Si. The effects of Si and Cd on the antioxidant enzyme activity were further verified by isoenzyme analysis. Silicon was more effective in enhancing Cd tolerance in the Cd-tolerant cultivar than in the Cd-sensitive cultivar. It can be concluded that Si-enhanced Cd tolerance in B. chinensis is attributed mainly to Si-suppressed Cd uptake and root-to-shoot Cd transport and Si-enhanced antioxidant defense activity.