Cadmium uptake in above-ground parts of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.).Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016 Mar; 125:102-6.EE
Because of its high Cd uptake and translocation, lettuce is often used in Cd contamination studies. However, there is a lack of information on Cd accumulation in the above-ground parts of lettuce during the entire growing season. In this study, a field experiment was carried out in a Cd-contaminated area. Above-ground lettuce parts were sampled, and the Cd content was measured using a flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The results showed that the Cd concentration in the above-ground parts of lettuce increased from 2.70 to 3.62mgkg(-1) during the seedling stage, but decreased from 3.62 to 2.40mgkg(-1) during organogenesis and from 2.40 to 1.64mgkg(-1) during bolting. The mean Cd concentration during the seedling stage was significantly higher than that during organogenesis (a=0.05) and bolting (a=0.01). The Cd accumulation in the above-ground parts of an individual lettuce plant could be described by a sigmoidal curve. Cadmium uptake during organogenesis was highest (80% of the total), whereas that during bolting was only 4.34%. This research further reveals that for Rome lettuce: (1) the highest Cd content of above-ground parts occurred at the end of the seedling phase; (2) the best harvest time with respect to Cd phytoaccumulation is at the end of the organogenesis stage; and (3) the organogenesis stage is the most suitable time to enhance phytoaccumulation efficiency by adjusting the root:shoot ratio.