Cereal Research Communications

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 1631–1642 | Cite as

Cadmium-induced Changes in the Membrane Lipid Composition of Maize Plants

  • M. Pál
  • K. Leskó
  • T. Janda
  • E. Páldi
  • G. SzalaiEmail author


The effect of 10, 25 and 50 μM Cd(NO3)2 on the fatty acid composition was investigated in young maize seedlings (Zea mays L., hybrid Norma). After 7 days’ exposure to cadmium slight changes were observed in the fatty acid composition, which were more pronounced in the roots than in the leaves. In the leaves cadmium did not affect the lipid composition of the monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) or digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) fractions, while in the phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) fractions there was a decrease in the proportion of hexadecanoic acid (16:0) and an increase in the level of linoleic acid (18:2) and linolenic acid (18:3). The proportion of trans-Δ3-hexadecanoic acid in leaf PG also decreased. In the roots significant changes were observed in all the fractions examined after Cd stress. In the MGDG the level of stearic acid (18:0) and oleic acid (18:1) decreased, but that of 18:2 and 18:3 increased. In the case of PE the amount of 16:0 decreased, while that of 18:0, 18:1 and 18:3 increased. In the PG fraction the proportion of 16:0, 18:0 and 18:1 decreased, while that of 18:2 increased. The ratio of 16:0 also decreased in the DGDG fraction, while that of 18:0, 18:1 and 18:2 increased. The changes in the fatty acid composition were associated with an increase in the double-bond index and in the percentage of unsaturation in leaf PG, and in the MGDG, PG and DGDG fractions in the roots.


cadmium double-bond index fatty acid composition heavy metal stress Zea mays L. 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ben Hamed, K., Ben Youssef, N., Ranieri, A., Zarrouk, M., Abdelly, C. 2005. Changes in content and fatty acid profiles of total lipids and sulfolipids in the halophyte Crithmum maritimum under salt stress. J. Plant Physiol. 162:599–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bligh, E.G., Dyer, W.J. 1959. A rapid method of total lipid extraction and purification. Can. J. Biochem. Physiol. 37:911–917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chaffai, R., Marzouk, B., El Ferjani, E. 2005. Aluminum mediates compositional alterations of polar lipid classes in maize seedlings. Phytochem. 66:1903–1912.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Djebali, W., Zarrouk, M., Brouquisse, R., El Kahoui, S., Limam, F., Ghorbel, M.H., Chaïbi, W. 2005. Ultrastructure and lipid alterations induced by cadmium in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) chloroplast membranes. Plant Biol. 7:358–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hernández, L.E., Cooke, D.T. 1997. Modification of root plasma membrane lipid composition of cadmium-treated Pisum sativum. J. Exp. Bot. 48:1375–1381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Krupa, Z., Huner, N.P.A., Williams, J.P., Maissan, E., James, D.R. 1987. Development at cold hardening temperature. The structure and composition of purified rye light harvesting complex II. Plant Physiol. 84:19–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kruse, O., Hankamer, B., Konzak, C., Gerle, C., Morris, E., Radunz, A., Schmid, G.H., Barber, J. 2000. Phosphatidylglycerol is involved in the dimerization of photosystem II. J. Biol. Chem. 275:6509–6514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Maksymiec, W. 1997. Effect of copper on cellular processes in higher plants. Photosynthetica 34:321–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McCourt, P., Browse, J., Watson, J., Arntzen, C.J., Somerville, C.R. 1985. Analysis of photosynthetic antenna function in a mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) lacking trans -hexadecanoic acid. Plant Physiol. 78:853–858.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Murata, N., Higashi, S.I., Fujimura, Y. 1990. Glycerolipids in various preparations of photosystem II from spinach chloroplasts. Biochem. Biophys. Acta 1019:261–268.Google Scholar
  11. Nishida, I., Murata, N. 1996. Chilling sensitivity in plants and cyanobacteria: The crucial contribution of membrane lipids. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. Plant Mol. Biol. 47:541–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Nouairi, I., Ben Ammar, W., Ben Youssef, N., Ben Miled Daoud, D., Ghorbal, M.H., Zarrouk, M. 2006. Comparative study of cadmium effects on membrane lipid composition of Brassica juncea and Brassica napus leaves. Plant Sci. 170:511–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ouariti, O., Boussama, N., Zarrouk, M., Cherif, A., Ghorbal, M.H. 1997. Cadmium-and copper-induced changes in tomato membrane lipids. Phytochem. 45:1343–1350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Pál, M., Horváth, E., Janda, T., Páldi, E., Szalai, G. 2005. Cadmium stimulates the accumulation of salicylic acid and its putative precursors in maize (Zea mays L.) plants. Physiol. Plant 125:356–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pál, M., Horváth, E., Janda, T., Páldi, E., Szalai, G. 2006. Physiological changes and defense mechanisms induced by cadmium stress in maize. J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 169:239–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pham-Quoc, K., Dubacq, J.-P., Demandre, C., Mazliak, P. 1994. Comparative effects of exogenous fatty-acid supplementations on the lipids from the Cyanobacterium spirulina -platensis. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 32:501–509.Google Scholar
  17. Pukacki, P.M., Kamińska-Rozek, E. 2002. Long-term implications of industrial pollution stress on lipid composition in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) roots. Acta Physiol. Plant. 24:249–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rellán-Álvarez, R., Ortega-Villasante, C., Álvarez-Fernández, A., Campo, F.F.D., Hernández, L.E. 2006. Stress responses of Zea mays to cadmium and mercury. Plant Soil 279:41–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rucińska, R., Gwóźdź, E.A. 2005. Influence of lead on membrane permeability and lipoxygenase activity in lupine roots. Biol. Plant. 49:617–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sanitá di Toppi, L., Gabbrielli, R. 1999. Response to cadmium in higher plants. Environ. Exp. Bot. 41:105–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Stefanov, K., Popova, I., Kamburova, E., Pancheva, T., Kimenov, G., Kuleva, L., Popov, S. 1993. Lipid and sterol changes in Zea mays caused by lead ions. Phytochem. 33:47–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stefanov, K., Seizova, K., Popova, I., Petkov, V., Kimenov, G., Popov, S. 1995. Effect of lead ions on the phospholipid composition in leaves of Zea mays and Phaseolus vulgaris. J. Plant Physiol. 147:243–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Szalai, G., Janda, T., Páldi, E., Dubacq, J.-P. 2001. Changes in the fatty acid unsaturation after hardening in wheat substitution lines with different cold tolerance. J. Plant Physiol. 158:663–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Szalai, G., Janda, T., Golan-Goldhirsh, A., Páldi, E. 2002. Effect of Cd treatment on phytochelatin synthesis in maize. Acta Biol. Szegediensis 46:121–122.Google Scholar
  25. Szalai, G., Pál, M., Horváth, E., Janda, T., Páldi, E. 2005. Investigations on the adapability of maize lines and hybrids to low temperature and cadmium. Acta Agron. Hung. 53:183–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Thompson, J.E., Froese, C.D., Madey, E., Smith, M.D., Hong, Y. 1998. Lipid metabolism during plant senescence. Prog. Lipid Res. 37:119–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Verdoni, N., Mench, M., Cassagne, C., Bessoule, J.-J. 2001. Fatty acid composition of tomato leaves as biomarkers of metal-contaminated soils. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 20:382–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Pál
    • 1
  • K. Leskó
    • 1
  • T. Janda
    • 1
  • E. Páldi
    • 1
  • G. Szalai
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of SciencesMartonvásárHungary

Personalised recommendations