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Evaluation of zinc accumulation, allocation, and tolerance in Zea mays L. seedlings: implication for zinc phytoextraction

Bashmakov, Dmitry I., Lukatkin, Alexander S., Anjum, Naser A., Ahmad, Iqbal, Pereira, Eduarda
Environmental science and pollution research international 2015 v.22 no.20 pp. 15443-15448
X-radiation, Zea mays, biomass production, corn, cytoplasm, leaf area, phytoremediation, roots, seedlings, zinc
This work investigated the accumulation, allocation, and impact of zinc (Zn; 1.0 μM–10 mM) in maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings under simulated laboratory conditions. Z. mays exhibited no significant change in its habitus (the physical characteristics of plants) up to 10–1000 μM of Zn (vs 5–10 mM Zn). Zn tolerance evaluation, based on the root test, indicated a high tolerance of Z. mays to both low and intermediate (or relatively high) concentrations of Zn, whereas this plant failed to tolerate 10 mM Zn and exhibited a 5-fold decrease in its Zn tolerance. Contingent to Zn treatment levels, Zn hampered the growth of axial organs and brought decreases in the leaf area, water regime, and biomass accumulation. Nevertheless, at elevated levels of Zn (10 mM), Zn²⁺ was stored in the root cytoplasm and inhibited both axial organ growth and water regime. However, accumulation and allocation of Zn in Z. mays roots, studied herein employing X-ray fluorimeter and histochemical methods, were close to Zn accumulator plants. Overall, the study outcomes revealed Zn tolerance of Z. mays, and also implicate its potential role in Zn phytoextraction.