Cadmium-induced changes in the membrane lipid composition of maize plants

M. Pál, K. Leskó, T. Janda, E. Páldi, G. Szalai

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The effect of 10, 25 and 50 μM Cd(NO3)2 on the fatty acid composition was investigated in young maize seedlings (Zea mays L., hybrid Norma). After 7 days' exposure to cadmium slight changes were observed in the fatty acid composition, which were more pronounced in the roots than in the leaves. In the leaves cadmium did not affect the lipid composition of the monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) or digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) fractions, while in the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) fractions there was a decrease in the proportion of hexadecanoic acid (16:0) and an increase in the level of linoleic acid (18:2) and linolenic acid (18:3). The proportion of trans-Δ3-hexadecanoic acid in leaf PG also decreased. In the roots significant changes were observed in all the fractions examined after Cd stress. In the MGDG the level of stearic acid (18:0) and oleic acid (18:1) decreased, but that of 18:2 and 18:3 increased. In the case of PE the amount of 16:0 decreased, while that of 18:0, 18:1 and 18:3 increased. In the PG fraction the proportion of 16:0, 18:0 and 18:1 decreased, while that of 18:2 increased. The ratio of 16:0 also decreased in the DGDG fraction, while that of 18:0, 18:1 and 18:2 increased. The changes in the fatty acid composition were associated with an increase in the double-bond index and in the percentage of unsaturation in leaf PG, and in the MGDG, PG and DGDG fractions in the roots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1631-1642
Number of pages12
JournalCereal Research Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2007



  • Cadmium
  • Double-bond index
  • Fatty acid composition
  • Heavy metal stress
  • Zea mays L.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics

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