Plant and Soil

, Volume 430, Issue 1–2, pp 139–149 | Cite as

Roles of shoots and roots in cadmium uptake and distribution in tubers of potato (Solanum tuberosum L)

  • Molla F. Mengist
  • Dan Milbourne
  • Sheila Alves
  • Mike J. McLaughlin
  • Peter W. Jones
  • Denis GriffinEmail author
Regular Article



Potato cultivars vary in biomass production and Cd concentration. Differences in growth can lead to differences in tuber cadmium (Cd) concentration through growth dilution and/or limited uptake of Cd from the soil. The aims of this study were to investigate the relative importance of shoot (above ground plant parts) and root in dry weight (DW) accumulation, total Cd uptake and Cd distribution between organs and how this affects tuber Cd concentration.

Materials and methods

Three experiments were carried out, two with reciprocal grafting between high and low tuber Cd accumulating cultivars under two soil Cd conditions, and the other was involving the evaluation of F1 genotypes, from a cross between these high and low tuber Cd accumulating cultivars. These experiments were carried out under controlled greenhouse conditions.


The results showed that the root system is important for total Cd uptake but less important for growth and Cd distribution between organs. On the other hand, the shoot system is important for regulating growth of shoot and roots, and for determining Cd distribution between organs.


The data suggest that tuber Cd concentration was mainly regulated by shoot source and to a lesser extent by total uptake of Cd.


Cadmium Potato Grafting Root Shoot Tuber 



This study is part of the RED-Cd-IRL project, funded under the Research Stimulus Fund (RSF, Ref 11 SF 308) by the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). Molla F. Mengist acknowledges the post-graduate scholarship under the same project. We appreciate the assistance of the potato breeding team at Oak Park Crop Research Centre in Carlow, for the support in the set up and maintenance of the experimental trials, and Francis Collier and the farm staff at Grange Animal & Grassland Research Centre in Dunsany, for assisting in soil collection.

Author contributions

MFM, DG and DM conceived the study; MFM performed the experiment, data analysis and drafted the manuscript; SA, PWJ and MJM gave scientific input and contributed to the interpretation of results. All authors read and edited the manuscript.

Supplementary material

11104_2018_3717_MOESM1_ESM.docx (148 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 147 kb)


  1. Almekinders CJM, Struik PC (1996) Shoot development and flowering in potato (Solanum tuberosum L). Potato Res 39:581–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arao T, Takeda H, Nishihara E (2008) Reduction of cadmium translocation from roots to shoots in eggplant (Solanum melongena) by grafting onto Solanum torvum rootstock. Soil Sci Plant Nutr 54:555–559CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arduini I, Masoni A, Mariotti M, Pampana S, Ercoli L et al (2014) Cadmium uptake and translocation in durum wheat varieties differing in grain-Cd accumulation. Plant Soil Environ 60:43–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Benitez ER, Hajika M, Yamada T, Takahashi K, Oki N, Yamada N, Nakamura T, Kanamaru K (2010) A major QTL controlling seed cadmium accumulation in soybean. Crop Sci 50:1728–1734CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradshaw JE, Bryan GJ, Ramsay G (2006) Genetic resources (including wild and cultivated Solanum species) and progress in their utilisation in potato breeding. Potato Res 49:49–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bradshaw JE, Hackett CA, Pande B, Waugh R, Bryan GJ (2008) QTL mapping of yield, agronomic and quality traits in tetraploid potato (Solanum tuberosum subsp. tuberosum). Theor Appl Genet 116:193–211CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Clarke JM, Leisle D, Kopytko GL (1997) Inheritance of cadmium concentration in five durum wheat crosses. Crop Sci 37:1722–1726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clemens S (2006) Toxic metal accumulation, responses to exposure and mechanisms of tolerance in plants. Biochimie 88:1707–1719CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Dunbar KR, McLaughlin MJ, Reid RJ (2003) The uptake and partitioning of cadmium in two cultivars of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). J Exp Bot 54:349–354CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Fitter AH, Stickland TR, Harvey ML, Wilson GW (1991) Architectural analysis of plant root systems 1. Architectural correlates of exploitation efficiency. New Phytol 118:375–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guimarães MdA, Gustin JL, Salt DE (2009) Reciprocal grafting separates the roles of the root and shoot in zinc hyperaccumulation in Thlaspi caerulescens. New Phytol 184:323–329CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Harris NS, Taylor GJ (2013) Cadmium uptake and partitioning in durum wheat during grain filling. BMC Pant Biol 13:103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hart JJ, Norvell WA, Welch RM, Sullivan LA, Kochian LV (1998) Characterization of zinc uptake, binding, and translocation in intact seedlings of bread and durum wheat cultivars. Plant Physiol 118:219–226CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. He J, Zhu C, Ren Y, Yan Y, Jiang D (2006) Genotypic variation in grain cadmium concentration of lowland rice. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 169:711–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jefferies RA (1993) Cultivar responses to water stress in potato: effects of shoot and roots. New Phytol 123:491–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Knox RE, Pozniak CJ, Clarke FR, Clarke JM, Houshmand S, Singh AK (2009) Chromosomal location of the cadmium uptake gene (Cdu1) in durum wheat. Genome 52:741–747CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kratzke MG, Palta JP (1985) Evidence for the existence of functional roots on potato tubers and stolons: significance in water transport to the tuber. Am J Potato Res 62:227–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kratzke MG, Palta JP (1986) Calcium accumulation in potato tubers: role of the basal roots. HortScience 21:1022–1024Google Scholar
  19. Kubo K, Watanabe Y, Oyanagi A, Kaneko S, Chono M, Matsunaka H, Seki M, Fujita M (2008) Cadmium concentration in grains of Japanese wheat cultivars: genotypic difference and relationship with agronomic characteristics. Plant Prod Sci 11:243–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kubo K, Watanabe Y, Matsunaka H, Seki M, Fujita M, Kawada N, Hatta K, Nakajima T (2011) Differences in cadmium accumulation and root morphology in seedlings of Japanese wheat varieties with distinctive grain cadmium concentration. Plant Prod Sci 14:148–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kubo K, Kobayashi H, Fujita M, Ota T, Minamiyama Y, Watanabe Y, Nakajima T, Shinano T (2016) Varietal differences in the absorption and partitioning of cadmium in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Environ Exp Bot 124:79–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Laporte M-A, Sterckeman T, Dauguet S, Denaix L, Nguyen C (2015) Variability in cadmium and zinc shoot concentration in 14 cultivars of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) as related to metal uptake and partitioning. Environ Exp Bot 109:45–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liu J, Qian M, Cai G, Zhu Q, Wong MH (2007) Variations between rice cultivars in root secretion of organic acids and the relationship with plant cadmium uptake. Environ Geochem Health 29:189–195CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Lu Z, Zhang Z, Su Y, Liu C, Shi G (2013) Cultivar variation in morphological response of peanut roots to cadmium stress and its relation to cadmium accumulation. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 91:147–155CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. McAdam SAM, Brodribb TJ, Ross JJ (2016) Shoot-derived abscisic acid promotes root growth. Plant Cell Environ 39:652–659CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. McLaughlin MJ, Williams CMJ, McKay A, Gunton J, Jackson K, Dowling B, Kirkham R, Partington D, Smart MS, Tiller KG (1994) Effect of potato variety on cadmium accumulation in potato tubers. Aust J Agric Res 45:1483–1495CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mengist MF, Milbourne D, Griffin D, McLaughlin MJ, Creedon J, Jones PW, Alves S (2017) Cadmium uptake and partitioning in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) cultivars with different tuber-cd concentration. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24:27384–27391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mengist MF, Alves S, Griffin D, Creedon J, McLaughlin MJ, Jones PW, Milbourne D (2018) Genetic mapping of quantitative trait loci for tuber-cadmium and zinc concentrations in potato reveals associations with maturity and both overlapping and independent components of genetic control. Theor Appl Genet 131:929–945CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Perrier F, Yan B, Candaudap F, Pokrovsky OS, Gourdain E, Meleard B, Bussière S, Coriou C, Robert T, Nguyen C, Cornu JY (2016) Variability in grain cadmium concentration among durum wheat cultivars: impact of aboveground biomass partitioning. Plant Soil 404:307–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Reid RJ, Dunbar KR, McLaughlin MJ (2003) Cadmium loading into potato tubers: the roles of the periderm, xylem and phloem. Plant Cell Environ 26:201–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Savvas D, Ntatsi G, Barouchas P (2013) Impact of grafting and rootstock genotype on cation uptake by cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) exposed to Cd or Ni stress. Sci Hortic 149:86–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sterckeman T, Goderniaux M, Sirguey C, Cornu J-Y, Nguyen C (2015) Do roots or shoots control cadmium accumulation in the hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens? Plant Soil 392:87–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Struik PC, Wiersema SG (1999) Seed Potato Technology. Wageningen Academic Pub, WageningenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sugiyama M, Ae N, Arao T (2007) Role of roots in differences in seed cadmium concentration among soybean cultivars-proof by grafting experiment. Plant Soil 295:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Trudgill DL, Thompson R (1987) The influence of stock and of scion on the growth and yield of potato plants produced by grafting cultivars of different maturity types. Potato Res 30:285–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ueno D, Yamaji N, Kono I, Huang CF, Ando T, Yano M, Ma JF (2010) Gene limiting cadmium accumulation in rice. Proc Natl Acad Sci 107:16500–16505CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Uraguchi S, Mori S, Kuramata M, Kawasaki A, Arao T, Ishikawa S (2009) Root-to-shoot cd translocation via the xylem is the major process determining shoot and grain cadmium accumulation in rice. J Exp Bot 60:2677–2688CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  38. Uraguchi S, Kamiya T, Clemens S, Fujiwara T (2014) Characterization of OsLCT1, a cadmium transporter from indica rice (Oryza sativa). Physiol Plant 151:339–347CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Wu D, Sato K, Ma JF (2015) Genome-wide association mapping of cadmium accumulation in different organs of barley. New Phytol 208:817–829CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Xia S, Deng R, Zhang Z, Liu C, Shi G (2016) Variations in the accumulation and translocation of cadmium among pak choi cultivars as related to root morphology. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23:9832–9842CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Xin J, Huang B, Yang J, Yang Z, Yuan J, Mu Y (2013) Role of roots in cadmium accumulation of two water spinach cultivars: reciprocal grafting and histochemical experiments. Plant Soil 366:425–432CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Xin J, Huang B, Dai H (2015) Difference in root-to-shoot Cd translocation and characterization of Cd accumulation during fruit development in two Capsicum annuum cultivars. Plant Soil 394:287–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Xin J, Dai H, Huang B (2017) Assessing the roles of roots and shoots in the accumulation of cadmium in two sweet potato cultivars using split-root and reciprocal grafting systems. Plant Soil 412:413–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Xu L, Wang L, Gong Y, Dai W, Wang Y, Zhu X, Wen T, Liu L (2012a) Genetic linkage map construction and QTL mapping of cadmium accumulation in radish (Raphanus sativus L.). Theor Appl Genet 125:659–670CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Xu J, Sun J, Du L, Liu X (2012b) Comparative transcriptome analysis of cadmium responses in Solanum nigrum and Solanum torvum. New Phytol 196:110–124CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Xue D, Chen M, Zhang G (2009) Mapping of QTLs associated with cadmium tolerance and accumulation during seedling stage in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Euphytica 165:587–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yan YF, Lestari P, Lee KJ, Kim MY, Lee SH, Lee BW (2013) Identification of quantitative trait loci for cadmium accumulation and distribution in rice (Oryza sativa). Genome 56:227–232CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Zhang X, Zhang G, Guo L, Wang H, Zeng D, Dong G, Qian Q, Xue D (2011) Identification of quantitative trait loci for Cd and Zn concentrations of brown rice grown in cd-polluted soils. Euphytica 180:173–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teagasc, Crops Research CentreCo. CarlowIreland
  2. 2.School of Biological, Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  3. 3.Soil Science Group, School of Agriculture, Food and WineUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia

Personalised recommendations