Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 33–42 | Cite as

Iron nutrition affects cadmium accumulation and toxicity in rice plants

  • Guosheng Shao
  • Mingxue Chen
  • Weixia Wang
  • Renxiang Mou
  • Guoping Zhang
Original Paper


The effect of iron (Fe) nutrition on cadmium (Cd) toxicity and accumulation in rice plants was studied using a hydroponic system. The inhibitory effect of Cd on plant growth and chlorophyll content (SPAD value) was dependent on Fe level and the genotype. Malondialdehyde (MDA) content in leaves and roots was not much affected by an increased Cd stress at 0.171 mg l−1 Fe, but it showed a rapid increase when the plants were exposed to moderate (1.89 mg l−1) and high (16.8 mg l−1) Fe levels. High Fe nutrition caused a marked reduction in Cd content in both leaves and roots. Fe content in plants was lower at high Cd (5.0 μM) stress than at low Cd (<1.0 μM) stress. Cd stress increased both superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) activities at low and moderate Fe levels. However, with high Fe level, it increased the POD activity, but reduced the SOD activity. Our results substantiate the hypothesis that cell membrane-bound iron transporter (carrier) involved in high-affinity iron transport systems can also transport Cd, and both these ions may compete for this common carrier. The study further showed that there were significant correlations between MDA and Fe contents in leaves and roots of rice plants. It is suggested that the occurrence of oxidative stress in plants exposed to Cd stress is mediated by Fe nutrition. The present results also show that Cd stress affects the uptake of Cu and Zn.


Cadmium Iron Malondialdehyde Oxidative stress Oryza sativa L. Rice Toxicity 







Superoxide dismutase


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid



We are very grateful to National Natural Science Foundation (30600379) and Zhejiang Natural Science Foundation (Z304104, Y304126) for their financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guosheng Shao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mingxue Chen
    • 2
  • Weixia Wang
    • 2
  • Renxiang Mou
    • 2
  • Guoping Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Agriculture and BiotechnologyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.China National Rice Research InstituteHangzhouChina

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