Assessment of plants from the Brassicaceae family as genetic models for the study of nickel and zinc hyperaccumulation


Author for correspondence: David E. Salt Tel: +765 496 2112 Fax: +765 494 0391 Email:


  • We report on the second phase of a programme to select a relative of Arabidopsis thaliana for use in large-scale molecular genetic studies of nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn) hyperaccumulation. We also report on the relatedness among Thlaspi caerulescens accessions and the utility of using O-acetyl-l-serine as a marker for Ni and Zn hyperaccumulation potential.
  • • Twenty-seven new accessions of metal-accumulating species collected in the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Slovenia and the USA during Spring–Summer 2002 were evaluated.
  • • The criteria established for selection were hyperaccumulation of metals (Ni and Zn); compact growth habit; reasonable time to flowering; production of ≥ 1000 seeds per plant; self-fertility; compact diploid genome; high sequence similarity to A. thaliana; ≥ 0.1% transformation efficiency with easy selection.
  • • We conclude that the best candidate identified in the first phase was the best candidate overall: T. caerulescens accession St Félix de Pallières.