Plant and Soil

, Volume 430, Issue 1–2, pp 219–231 | Cite as

Cadmium reduces zinc uptake but enhances its translocation in the cadmium-accumulator, Carpobrotus rossii, without affecting speciation

  • Miaomiao Cheng
  • Peter M. Kopittke
  • Anan Wang
  • Peter W. G. Sale
  • Caixian TangEmail author
Regular Article


Background and aims

Interactions between Cd and Zn occur in soils and plants but are inconsistent. This study examined how Cd/Zn interactions influence the growth of Carpobrotus rossii (Haw.) and the accumulation of Cd and Zn in plants.


Plants were grown in nutrient solutions containing 5–100 μM Zn and 0, 5 or 15 μM Cd. Plant growth and tissue concentrations were measured, and the speciation of Zn within the plant tissues determined using synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy.


There was an additive negative interaction between Cd and Zn on root growth. Only the highest level of Zn (100 μM) decreased Cd concentrations in root and shoot tissues (by 40–64%), whilst 100 μM Zn enhanced Cd translocation at 5 μM Cd but decreased it at 15 μM Cd. In contrast, both 5 and 15 μM Cd decreased Zn concentrations in root and shoot tissues but increased Zn translocation by 30–90%. This interaction was not associated with changes in Zn speciation within the plants, with most Zn associated with oxalate (48–87%).


The presence of Zn and Cd resulted in an additive negative effect on root growth, but an antagonistic pattern in their accumulation in shoots of C. rossii.


Cd/Zn interaction Phytoremediation Synchrotron XANES Zn speciation Zn translocation 



This research was undertaken on the XAS beamline (Project AS171/XAS/11713) at the Australian Synchrotron, part of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology organization (ANSTO). We thank Drs. Peter Kappen and Chris Glover (Australian Synchrotron) for their advice on use of XAS, Mr. James O’Sullivan (La Trobe University, Australia) for helping with the XAS analyses at the Australian Synchrotron. Funding from the Australian Research Council for a Linkage Project for C.T. (LP100100800) and a Future Fellowship for P.M.K. (FT120100277) is also acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miaomiao Cheng
    • 1
  • Peter M. Kopittke
    • 2
  • Anan Wang
    • 1
  • Peter W. G. Sale
    • 1
  • Caixian Tang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences, Centre for AgriBioscienceLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agriculture and Food SciencesThe University of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia

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