Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization alters subcellular distribution and chemical forms of cadmium in Medicago sativa L. and resists cadmium toxicity.PLoS One. 2012; 7(11):e48669.Plos
Some plants can tolerate and even detoxify soils contaminated with heavy metals. This detoxification ability may depend on what chemical forms of metals are taken up by plants and how the plants distribute the toxins in their tissues. This, in turn, may have an important impact on phytoremediation. We investigated the impact of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus, Glomus intraradices, on the subcellular distribution and chemical forms of cadmium (Cd) in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) that were grown in Cd-added soils. The fungus significantly colonized alfalfa roots by day 25 after planting. Colonization of alfalfa by G. intraradices in soils contaminated with Cd ranged from 17% to 69% after 25-60 days and then decreased to 43%. The biomass of plant shoots with AM fungi showed significant 1.7-fold increases compared to no AM fungi addition under the treatment of 20 mg kg(-1) Cd. Concentrations of Cd in the shoots of alfalfa under 0.5, 5, and 20 mgkg(-1) Cd without AM fungal inoculation are 1.87, 2.92, and 2.38 times higher, respectively, than those of fungi-inoculated plants. Fungal inoculation increased Cd (37.2-80.5%) in the cell walls of roots and shoots and decreased in membranes after 80 days of incubation compared to untreated plants. The proportion of the inactive forms of Cd in roots was higher in fungi-treated plants than in controls. Furthermore, although fungi-treated plants had less overall Cd in subcellular fragments in shoots, they had more inactive Cd in shoots than did control plants. These results provide a basis for further research on plant-microbe symbioses in soils contaminated with heavy metals, which may potentially help us develop management regimes for phytoremediation.