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Transport interactions between cadmium and zinc in roots of bread and durum wheat seedlings


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Field studies have shown that the addition of Zn to Cd-containing soils can help reduce accumulation of Cd in crop plants. To understand the mechanisms involved, this study used 109Cd and 65Zn to examine the transport interactions of Zn and Cd at the root cell plasma membrane of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var. durum). Results showed that Cd2+ uptake was inhibited by Zn2+ and Zn2+ uptake was inhibited by Cd2+. Concentration-dependent uptake of both Cd2+ and Zn2+ consisted of a combination of linear binding by cell walls and saturable, Michaelis-Menten influx across the plasma membrane. Saturable influx data from experiments with and without 10 µm concentrations of the corresponding inhibiting ion were converted to double reciprocal plots. The results revealed a competitive interaction between Cd2+ and Zn2+, confirming that Cd2+ and Zn2+ share a common transport system at the root cell plasma membrane in both bread and durum wheat. The study suggests that breeding or agronomic strategies that aim to decrease Cd uptake or increase Zn uptake must take into account the potential accompanying change in transport of the competing ion.