Effects of cadmium and lead on the accumulation of Ca2+ and K+ and on the influx and translocation of K+ in wheat of low and high K+ status

Shailja Trvedi, L. Erdei

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The effects of cadmium and lead on the internal concentrations of Ca2+ and K+, as well as on the uptake and translocation of K(86Rb+) were studied in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L. a. MV‐8) grown hydroponically at 2 levels of K+ (100 uM and 10 mM). Cd2+ and Pb2+ were applied in the nutrient solution in the range of 0.3 to 1000 u.M. Growth was more severely inhibited by Cd2+ and in the high‐K+ plants as compared to Pbz+ and low‐K+ plants. Ions of both heavy metals accumulated in the roots and shoots, but the K+ status influenced their levels. Ca2+ accumulation was increased by low concentrations of Cd2+ mainly in low‐K+ shoots, whereas it was less influenced by Pb2+. The distribution of Cd2+ and Ca2+ in the plant and in the growth media indicated high selectivity for Cd2+ in the root uptake, while Ca2+ was preferred in the radial and/or xylem transport. Cd2+ strongly inhibited net K+ accumulation in high‐K+ plants but caused stimulation at low K+ supply. In contrast, the metabolis‐dependent influx of K+(86Rb+) was inhibited in low‐K+ plants, while the passive influx in high‐K+ plants was stimulated. Translocation of K+ from the roots to the shoots was inhibited by Cd2+ but less influenced in Pb2+‐treated plants. It is concluded that the effects of heavy metals depend upon the K+‐status of the plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-100
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992



  • Cadmium
  • calcium
  • lead
  • potassium
  • potassium influx
  • Triucum aestivum
  • wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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