Mechanisms of Cd Hyperaccumulation and Detoxification in Heavy Metal Hyperaccumulators: How Plants Cope with Cd

  • Rong-Liang QiuEmail author
  • Ye-Tao Tang
  • Xiao-Wen Zeng
  • Palaniswamy Thangavel
  • Lu Tang
  • Yuan-Yuan Gan
  • Rong-Rong Ying
  • Shi-Zhong Wang
Part of the Progress in Botany book series (BOTANY, volume 73)


Cadmium (Cd) is classified as a toxic heavy metal and is of major concern in environmental heavy metals contamination. Some special plants, referring to Cd hyperaccumulators, could accumulate ≥100 mg kg−1 Cd in their shoots without showing phytotoxicity. The mechanisms of Cd accumulation and tolerance in Cd hyperaccumulators have provoked the interest of scientists. In the latest decade, many efforts have been put in investigating the biomolecular basis of Cd hyperaccumulation and associated Cd hypertolerance, including some important heavy metal transporters correlated to Cd accumulation and ion homeostasis in plants. This review provides an overview of the main aspects involving Cd uptake, translocation, distribution in hyperaccumulators, and the evolution of Cd hyperaccumulation. Besides, the hypothesis about the physiological role of Cd may play in hyperaccumulators is also highlighted.


Hyperaccumulator Plant Metal Hyperaccumulation Cation Diffusion Facilitator Hyperaccumulating Ecotype Defense Hypothesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Adenosine diphosphate




Adenosine triphosphatase




Ascorbate peroxidase


ATP-binding cassette


Buthionine sulfoximine






Carbonic anhydrase


Cation diffusion facilitator


Cation/H+ exchangers


Dry weight


Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer


Fresh weight


Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase


Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase


Guaiacol peroxidase




Glutathione reductase


Heavy metal-transporting ATPase4


High molecular weight


Hyperaccumulating ecotype




Leaf feeding damage index


Low molecular weight




Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein


Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate




Non-hyperaccumulating ecotype








Quantitative trait locus


Reactive oxygen species




Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase








Superoxide dismutase


ZRT1/IRT1-like protein





The present research is financially supported by NSFC-Guangdong Joint Foundation of China (No. U0833004), Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40901151, 31000248), and National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program) (No. 2007AA06Z305).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rong-Liang Qiu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ye-Tao Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiao-Wen Zeng
    • 3
  • Palaniswamy Thangavel
    • 1
  • Lu Tang
    • 1
  • Yuan-Yuan Gan
    • 1
  • Rong-Rong Ying
    • 1
  • Shi-Zhong Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Environmental Pollution Control and Remediation TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.School of Public HealthSun Yat-sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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