Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 581–586 | Cite as

Spatial distribution and speciation of copper in root tips of cucumber revealed by μ-XRF and μ-XANES

  • J. Song
  • Y. Q. Yang
  • S. H. Zhu
  • G. C. Chen
  • X. F. Yuan
  • T. T. Liu
  • X. H. Yu
  • J. Y. Shi
Brief Communication


The localization, biotransformation, and chemical speciation of copper in root tips of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) were investigated using synchrotron-based micro X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) and micro X-ray absorption near edge structure (μ-XANES). The highest content of Cu was found in root cap and meristematic zone whereas low Cu content in elongation and maturation zone. There was a dramatic increase of Cu content in root cap and meristematic zone after treatment with 100 μM CuSO4 for 72 h. The μ-XANES analysis revealed that most of Cu in root tip was bound with alginate, citrate, and cysteine-like ligands whereas rarely deposited in form of CuO. From root cap to maturation zone, the proportion of Cu bound with alginate-like ligands increased whereas that bound with citrate-like ligands decreased. The proportion of Cu bound with cysteine-like ligands increased from root cap to elongation zone but sharply declined in maturation zone. The results suggested that Cu was chelated by S ligands in the cell walls which protect protoplasm against possible damage caused by Cu excess.

Additional key words

Cucumis sativus metallothioneins phytochelatins X-ray fluorescence 



extended X-ray absorption fine structure






synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence


ShanghHai synchrotron radiation facility


micro X-ray fluorescence


micro X-ray absorption near edge structure


X-ray absorption spectroscopy


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Song
    • 1
  • Y. Q. Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. H. Zhu
    • 1
  • G. C. Chen
    • 1
  • X. F. Yuan
    • 3
  • T. T. Liu
    • 1
  • X. H. Yu
    • 4
  • J. Y. Shi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, Zijingang CampusZhejiang UniversityHangzhouP.R. China
  2. 2.Beijing Construction Engineering Environmental Remediation CompanyBeijingP.R. China
  3. 3.College of Life ScienceZhejiang Chinese Medical UniversityHangzhouP.R. China
  4. 4.Institute of Applied PhysicsChinese Academy of ScienceShanghaiP.R. China

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