Cadmium allocation to grains in durum wheat exposed to low Cd concentrations in hydroponics.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2019 Nov 30; 184:109592.EE
This study aims to characterize the response of durum wheat to different concentrations of Cd found in agricultural soils. One French durum wheat cultivar (i.e. Sculptur) was exposed to low concentrations of Cd (5 nM or 100 nM) in hydroponics. After anthesis, the plants were fed with a solution enriched with the stable isotope 111Cd to trace the newly absorbed Cd. Plants were sampled at anthesis and grain maturity to assess how plant growth, Cd uptake and partitioning among organs, as well as Cd remobilization, differed between the two Cd exposure levels. Durum wheat did not show any visual symptoms of Cd toxicity, regardless of which Cd treatment was applied. However, post-anthesis durum wheat growth was 14% penalized at 100 nM due to the large transpiration-based accumulation of Cd in leaves at this stage. The allocation of Cd to the grains was not restricted but enhanced at 100 nM compared to 5 nM. Both the root-to-shoot Cd translocation and the fraction of aboveground Cd allocated to grains were higher in plants exposed to 100 nM. Cadmium was remobilized exclusively from roots and stems, and remobilized Cd contributed on average to 40-45% of the Cd accumulated in mature grains, regardless of which Cd treatment was applied. The relevance of these results to decreasing the concentration of Cd in durum wheat grains is discussed.