• accumulation;
  • amino acid;
  • cadmium (Cd);
  • organic acid;
  • Solanum nigrum;
  • Solanum torvum;
  • tolerance


  • Under cadmium (Cd) stress, Solanum nigrum accumulated threefold more Cd in its leaves and was tolerant to Cd, whereas its low Cd-accumulating relative, Solanum torvum, suffered reduced growth and marked oxidative damage. However, the physiological mechanisms that are responsible for differential Cd accumulation and tolerance between the two Solanum species are largely unknown.
  • Here, the involvement of antioxidative capacity and the accumulation of organic and amino acids in response to Cd stress in the two Solanum species were assessed.
  • Solanum nigrum contains higher antioxidative capacity than does S. torvum under Cd toxicity. Metabolomics analysis indicated that Cd treatment also markedly increased the production of several organic and amino acids in S. nigrum. Pretreatment with proline and histidine increased Cd accumulation; moreover, pretreatment with citric acid increased Cd accumulation in leaves but decreased Cd accumulation in roots, which indicates that its biosynthesis could be linked to Cd long-distance transport and accumulation in leaves.
  • Our data provide novel metabolite evidence regarding the enhancement of citric acid and amino acid biosynthesis in Cd-treated S. nigrum, support the role of these metabolites in improving Cd tolerance and accumulation, and may help to provide a better understanding of stress adaptation in other Solanum species.