5 Scopus citations


The natural ability of plants to accumulate, exclude or stabilize elements could be exploited to remediate soils contaminated with metals. To implement this alternative technology termed phytoremediation, it is crucial to better understand the various processes controlling metal mobilization or immobilization, uptake, and sequestration by the plants. Metal chelation is recognized as a vital biological process that regulates metal solubility, bioavailability, and internal storage in plants. Natural ligands, e.g. soil humates, root exudates components, or synthetic chelators, i.e. ethylene-diaminetretraacetic acid or EDTA, can interact in a yet-to-be-defined way to influence metal uptake and sequestration by plants. Here, we investigated the interactive effect of Cd and soil humates on metal acquisition and translocation in wheat plants. Metal contents in tissues and root exudates composition were determined, using X-ray fluorescence for metals and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for organic exudates. Cd inhibited biomass production, from-55% to-65% on tissue dry weight basis, and greatly reduced root exudation, of about-84% by dry weight. Cd treatment also resulted in a substantial co-accumulation of transition metals (Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn) and Cd in wheat roots. Moreover, co-treatment with humates alleviated some of the Cd effect showing biomass inhibition reduced by about 10% for the tissues and 17% for the exudates, while accumulation of some metals (Zn, Cu, Ni, Cd) in the root was enhanced. Thus, under Cd treatment, with or without humate, the enhanced accumulation of metals was not mediated via root exudation. This is contrary to the exudate-mediated Fe acquisition under Fe deficiency. The mechanism for this phenomenon is being sought.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Chemistry
Subtitle of host publicationGreen Chemistry and Pollutants in Ecosystems
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • cadmium
  • humic acids
  • metal ion ligands
  • phytoremediation
  • root exudates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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