Investigation of element distributions between the symplasm and apoplasm of cucumber plants by TXRF spectrometry

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The lead, iron and manganese distribution between the symplasm and apoplasm of cucumber plant parts (root and leaves) was determined by total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (TXRF). Plants were grown in control or in lead-contaminated (10-5M Pb) nutrient solutions containing iron in the chemical form of Fe(III)-EDTA or Fe(III)-citrate. The total concentrations of metals in the dried plant parts were measured after their microwaveassisted digestion. For the determination of the distribution of the elements investigated between the apoplasm and symplasm, the dried root and leaf samples were infiltrated and washed with a solution containing 10 mmol/dm3 Na2EDTA and 0.5 mmol/dm3 CaSO4. Elements in the washing solutions and in the washed plant parts were characteristic of the apoplasm and symplasm, respectively. It was established that lead accumulated mainly in the root apoplasm. Going up towards the shoot, in the leaves, there was approximately 50-60% of lead in the symplasm. The iron - similarly to lead - was found mainly in the apoplasm in the root, while in the leaves the symplasm/apoplasm ratio was 55:45%. The distribution of manganese between the symplasm and apoplasm did not show any significant change under the different treatments. In contrast with lead and iron, there was 70% and 60% of manganese in the symplasm of the root and of the leaves, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
JournalMicrochemical Journal
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2000



  • Apoplasm
  • Cucumber
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Leaf
  • Manganese
  • Root
  • Symplasm
  • TXRF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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