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Zinc–cadmium interactions: Impact on wheat physiology and mineral acquisition

Sarwar, Nadeem, Ishaq, Wajid, Farid, Ghulam, Shaheen, Muhammad Rashid, Imran, Muhammad, Geng, Mingjian, Hussain, Saddam
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2015 v.122 pp. 528-536
Triticum aestivum, adverse effects, antagonists, cadmium, foliar application, food chain, mineral content, phosphorus, physiological response, polluted soils, potassium, proteins, shoots, soil treatment, toxicity, wheat, zinc, zinc sulfate
Increasing concentration of Cd in soil is of great concern due to risk of its entry into food chain. Zinc (Zn) being antagonist to Cd is an important micronutrient to ameliorate its toxic effects on plants and to limit its entry into food chain. A pot experiment was conducted using Cd contaminated soil (30mg Cdkg−1 soil as 3CdSO4·8H2O) to investigate the effect of soil and foliar applied Zn on physiological response and Cd concentration in wheat. In soil, Zn was applied at 15 and 30mg Znkg−1 soil as zinc sulfate (ZnSO4·7H2O). For foliar applications, 3 and 6gL−1 ZnSO4 solution was sprayed on completing eight weeks of growth. Results indicated that Zn application could effectively improve physiological performance and mineral content of wheat grown on Cd contaminated soils. Among different Zn fertilization treatments, foliar application of 3gL−1 ZnSO4 solution recorded the maximum soluble proteins and the minimum grain-Cd concentration. Soil application of ZnSO4 or foliar application at 6gL−1 did not affect Cd concentration in grains. Zinc application through both the methods significantly increased phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and Zn concentrations in shoots. Concentration of P and K in grains showed positive relationship with that of Zn. In crux, present study suggests that foliar application of Zn at booting stage in a suitable concentration (3gL−1 ZnSO4 solution) can effectively ameliorate the adverse effects of Cd and decrease grain-Cd of wheat grown in Cd contaminated soil.