Compartmentation of Zinc in Roots and Leaves of the Zinc Hyperaccumulator Thlaspi caerulescens J & C Presl

M. D. Vázquez, Ch Poschenrieder, J. Barceló, A. J.M. Baker, P. Hatton, G. H. Cope

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Thlaspi caerulescens is a metallophyte that is able to hyperaccumulate Zn. In the present study the subcellular compartmentation of Zn was investigated in roots and leaves of this species by means of X‐ray microanalysis. Leaves accumulated higher average Zn concentrations than roots. In roots of plants exposed to 10 μM Zn, Zn concentrations in the apoplast were similar to those in vacuoles, while in plants treated with 100 μM Zn considerably higher Zn concentrations were detected in vacuoles than in the apoplast. In epidermal and sub‐epidermal cells of leaves of plants from both treatments, Zn mainly accumulated in vacuoles and, to a lesser extent, in the apoplast. In vacuoles from plants exposed to 100 μM Zn, high Zn concentrations were associated with variable amounts of P, Ca and K. In leaves, the highest Zn concentrations (13,600 μg g−1 d.m.) were found in globular crystals present in many vacuoles of epidermal and subepidermal cells. Smaller deposits with a variable Zn concentration between 1,000 and 18,300 μg g−1 d.m. were observed in the epidermal and subepidermal cells of roots. Both the high Zn/P element ratios found in the crystals and the absence of Mg indicate that, in contrast to other plant species, myo‐inositol hexaphosphate (phytate) is not the main storage form for Zn in Thlaspi caerulescens. 1994 Deutsche Botanische Gesellschaft/German Botanical Society
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-250
JournalBotanica Acta
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1994


  • Compartmentation
  • metal hyperaccumulation
  • metal tolerance
  • Thlaspi caerulescens
  • X‐ray microanalysis
  • zinc


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