Phytoextraction of zinc by the hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens: accumulation, distribution and multi-element interactions [thesis]

Ngoc Dinh
Phytoextraction involves the removal of heavy metals from contaminated sites using hyperaccumulators such as Noccaea caerulescens F.K.Meyer (formerly Thlaspi caerulescens) which is a well-known Zn hyperaccumulator and a model species for hyperaccumulator studies. This PhD thesis investigates the zinc response of the hyperaccumulator in terms of accumulation, distribution and multi-element interactions. The impact of Zn, Pb and Cu on the growth, Zn accumulation and distribution, and interaction
more » ... n, and interaction between the metals and between the metals and other plant nutrients were examined in soution culture to provide insights into the physiological and biochemical mechanisms of metal hyperaccumulation and detoxification. Noccaea caerulescens were treated with a range of Zn concentrations to investigate uptake, tolerance and distribution of Zn, and these were compared with the responses in a related nonhyperaccumulator, Thlaspi arvense. Noccaea caerulescens showed a high Zn requirement for growth and a higher Zn accumulation and tolerance, with in excess of 2.5 % Zn in the shoot dry mass occurring without visible toxicity symptoms. Thlaspi arvense displayed Zn toxicity symptoms within two weeks of comparable Zn treatment. Increasing shoot Zn concentrations in N. caerulescens reduced Ca and P concentrations by up to 50% and 35%, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDS) showed that Zn-containing crystals were abundant in leaf epidermal cells and the cortex of the roots during the later growth phase of N. caerulescens. The impact of Pb and Cu on Zn phytoextraction in N. caerulescens was investigated and these metals in solution were found to inhibit both growth and Zn accumulation when present in combination with Zn. Plants were more sensitive to Cu than Pb with Cu being more readily transported to the shoots while almost all Pb was retained in the roots. Concentrations of other essential nutrients such as Ca, Mg, P, S, Fe, and K were decreased in shoots but increased in roots when there was a prolonged period of metal exposure. Higher levels of Zn accumulation decreased the concentrations of Ca, Mg, S and Fe in shoots. Sub-cellular elemental localization analysis using SEM-EDS revealed that Zn accumulated primarily inside the vacuoles of leaf epidermal cells. Znrich crystals were observed in the SEM freeze-dried leaf samples of the control and the Zn plus Pb treatment after extended exposure, but no crystals were found in the cryo-SEM leaf samples. Copper and Pb were not detected in the Zn-rich crystals of the freeze-dried samples or the cryo-SEM samples. iv Publications during candidature Peer-reviewed papers published 1. Ngoc T. Dinh, Dang T. Vu, David Mulligan, Anh V. Nguyen 2015. Accumulation and distribution of zinc in the leaves and roots of the hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens. vii
doi:10.14264/uql.2016.183 fatcat:i3s2rmzernbkdb2bwrpe6x7gva