Cadmium hampers salt tolerance of Sesuvium portulacastrum

Mariem Wali, Soledad Martos, Laura Pérez-Martín, Chedly Abdelly, Tahar Ghnaya, Charlotte Poschenrieder, Benet Gunsé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS It is well known that salinity reduces cadmium toxicity in halophytes. However, the possible interference of Cd with the mechanisms of salt tolerance is poorly explored. The aim of this study was to see whether Cd affects salt tolerance mechanisms in the halophyte Sesuvium portulacastrum. S. portulacastrum plants obtained from cuttings were grown in hydroponics for 3 weeks and then exposed to low (0.09 mM) or moderate (200 mM) NaCl concentrations, alone or in combination with 25 μM CdCl2. Microscopy observation revealed two strategies of salt tolerance: euhalophytism and secretion of salt by bladder cells. Cadmium exposure hardly influenced the total leaf Na+ concentrations. However, Cd supply delayed the salt–induced upregulation of AHA1 (plasma membrane H+-ATPase 1) and SOS1 (plasma membrane Na+ transporter “Salt Overly Sensitive 1”), genes that are essential for salt tolerance. Moreover, Cd induced the activation of BADH, coding for betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase, indicating enhanced osmotic stress due to Cd. Sodium-green fluorescence in protoplasts from plants grown with low or high NaCl, alone or in combination with Cd, revealed higher Na+ concentrations in the cytoplasm of Cd-exposed plants. Taken together the results indicate interference of Cd with salt tolerance mechanisms in S. portulacastrum. This may have consequences for the efficient use of halophytes in phytoremediation of Cd-contaminated saline soils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-399
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Cadmium
  • Halophyte
  • Salinity
  • Sesuvium portulacastrum
  • SpAHA1
  • SpBADH
  • SpSOS1


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