New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Physiology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 March 2023) | Viewed by 13111

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Guest Editor
Prefectural Agricultural Experiment Station Dept of Crop Research, Akita 010-1231, Japan
Interests: rice breeding; plant nutrition; plant molecular biology; heavy metal; transporters
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic heavy metal that can cause severe health issues in humans. Cd is mainly taken in when a person eats agricultural products produced in a Cd-contaminated field. The accumulation of Cd in the human body can lead to health issues. Cd pollution in agricultural fields is an extensive problem all over the world. This problem must be resolved as soon as possible in order to ensure the stable production of agricultural products and food safety. Phytoremediation is one of the most effective methods for purifying the soil of Cd because it is low-cost and easy to perform on a large scale. In general, the amount of Cd taken from the soil by phytoremediation depends on the biomass and Cd concentration in the aerial parts of the plants. Therefore, phytoremediation can be used for any plant species with a large biomass that accumulates Cd in the aerial parts.

Cd absorption from the soil to the plant roots and translocation within the plant occurs mainly via heavy metal transporters. However, the mechanisms of Cd accumulation in the aerial parts are not understood well in many plant species.

In this Special Issue, we will focus on new insights into Cd phytoremediation. We welcome not only research articles on Cd phytoremediation but also research articles on materials that can be used for Cd phytoremediation in the future. We also welcome candidate plant species that accumulate considerable amounts of Cd and genetic resources related to Cd absorption and/or translocation.

Dr. Ryuichi Takahashi
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • cadmium
  • Cd accumulating plants
  • Cd tolerance
  • environment
  • heavy metal transporter
  • mechanisms of Cd accumulation
  • mechanisms of Cd translocation
  • phytoremediation

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 3167 KiB  
Article
Key Pathways and Genes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Arabidopsis halleri Roots under Cadmium Stress Responses: Differences and Similarities
by Gabriella Sferra, Daniele Fantozzi, Gabriella Stefania Scippa and Dalila Trupiano
Plants 2023, 12(9), 1793; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12091793 - 27 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is among the world’s major health concerns, as it renders soils unsuitable and unsafe for food and feed production. Phytoremediation has the potential to remediate Cd-polluted soils, but efforts are still needed to develop a deep understanding of the processes underlying [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) is among the world’s major health concerns, as it renders soils unsuitable and unsafe for food and feed production. Phytoremediation has the potential to remediate Cd-polluted soils, but efforts are still needed to develop a deep understanding of the processes underlying it. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the root response to Cd stress in A. thaliana, which can phytostabilize Cd, and in A. halleri, which is a Cd hyperaccumulator. Suitable RNA-seq data were analyzed by WGCNA to identify modules of co-expressed genes specifically associated with Cd presence. The results evidenced that the genes of the hyperaccumulator A. halleri mostly associated with the Cd presence are finely regulated (up- and downregulated) and related to a general response to chemical and other stimuli. Additionally, in the case of A. thaliana, which can phytostabilize metals, the genes upregulated during Cd stress are related to a general response to chemical and other stimuli, while downregulated genes are associated with functions which, affecting root growth and development, determine a deep modification of the organ both at the cellular and physiological levels. Furthermore, key genes of the Cd-associated modules were identified and confirmed by differentially expressed gene (DEG) detection and external knowledge. Together, key functions and genes shed light on differences and similarities among the strategies that the plants use to cope with Cd and may be considered as possible targets for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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15 pages, 2104 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Miscanthus × giganteus Tolerance to Trace Element Stress: Field Experiment with Soils Possessing Gradient Cd, Pb, and Zn Concentrations
by Giulia Bastia, Karim Suhail Al Souki and Bertrand Pourrut
Plants 2023, 12(7), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12071560 - 05 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1047
Abstract
Miscanthus × giganteus demonstrated good phytostabilization potentials by decreasing the trace elements (T.E.s) mobility and enhancing the degraded soil quality. Nevertheless, most of the published work was performed under controlled conditions in ex situ pot experiments and/or with soils being spiked. Hence, data [...] Read more.
Miscanthus × giganteus demonstrated good phytostabilization potentials by decreasing the trace elements (T.E.s) mobility and enhancing the degraded soil quality. Nevertheless, most of the published work was performed under controlled conditions in ex situ pot experiments and/or with soils being spiked. Hence, data about the plant’s tolerance to increased T.E. concentrations in real conditions is still scarce and requires further investigation. For this sake, a field experiment was established by cultivating miscanthus plants in three different agricultural plots representing gradient trace element (Cd, Pb and Zn) concentrations. Another uncontaminated plot was also introduced. Results showed that T.E. concentrations in the leaves were tolerable to the plant. In addition, no variations were detected between the miscanthus cultivated in the contaminated and uncontaminated soils at the level of antioxidant enzymatic activities (ascorbate peroxidase and superoxide dismutase), photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll a and b and carotenoids), and secondary metabolites (phenolic compounds, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and tannins). These outcomes validate the high capacity of miscanthus to resist and tolerate contaminated conditions. Such results may contribute to further understanding of the miscanthus tolerance mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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14 pages, 3746 KiB  
Article
Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Enhances Cadmium Phytoextraction by Coreopsis grandiflora by Remodeling the Rhizospheric Environment
by Yingqi Huang, Boqun Li, Huafang Chen, Jingxian Li, Jianchu Xu and Xiong Li
Plants 2023, 12(7), 1484; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12071484 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 882
Abstract
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) significantly affects plant responses to heavy metals in hydroponics or culture media, but its corresponding effects in plant–soil systems remain unknown. In this study, different GABA dosages (0–8 g kg−1) were added to the rhizosphere of Coreopsis grandiflora [...] Read more.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) significantly affects plant responses to heavy metals in hydroponics or culture media, but its corresponding effects in plant–soil systems remain unknown. In this study, different GABA dosages (0–8 g kg−1) were added to the rhizosphere of Coreopsis grandiflora grown in Cd-contaminated soils. Cd accumulation in the shoots of C. grandiflora was enhanced by 38.9–159.5% by GABA in a dose-dependent approach because of accelerated Cd absorption and transport. The increase in exchangeable Cd transformed from Fe-Mn oxide and carbonate-bound Cd, which may be mainly driven by decreased soil pH rather than GABA itself, could be a determining factor responsible for this phenomenon. The N, P, and K availability was affected by multiple factors under GABA treatment, which may regulate Cd accommodation and accumulation in C. grandiflora. The rhizospheric environment dynamics remodeled the bacterial community composition, resulting in a decline in overall bacterial diversity and richness. However, several important plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, especially Pseudomonas and Sphingomonas, were recruited under GABA treatment to assist Cd phytoextraction in C. grandiflora. This study reveals that GABA as a soil amendment remodels the rhizospheric environment (e.g., soil pH and rhizobacteria) to enhance Cd phytoextraction in plant–soil systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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14 pages, 1739 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Different Agrotechnical Treatments on the Establishment of Miscanthus Hybrids in Soil Contaminated with Trace Metals
by Jacek Krzyżak, Szymon Rusinowski, Krzysztof Sitko, Alicja Szada-Borzyszkowska, Radosław Stec, Elaine Jensen, John Clifton-Brown, Andreas Kiesel, Eva Lewin, Paulina Janota and Marta Pogrzeba
Plants 2023, 12(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12010098 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Climate change and man-made pollution can have a negative impact on the establishment of Miscanthus plants in the field. This is particularly important because biomass can be produced on marginal land without conflicting with food crops. The establishment success depends on the hybrid [...] Read more.
Climate change and man-made pollution can have a negative impact on the establishment of Miscanthus plants in the field. This is particularly important because biomass can be produced on marginal land without conflicting with food crops. The establishment success depends on the hybrid chosen, the cultivation method, the climatic conditions, and the concentration of pollutants in the soil. There are several ways to increase the survival rate of the plants during the first growing season and after the first winter. One of them is the application of biochar and photodegradable plastic mulch, which can provide a solution for soils polluted with trace elements (TMEs). The aim of this study was to investigate the application of plastic mulch and biochar separately and in combination at the planting stage for two Miscanthus hybrids planted by the rhizome method (TV1) and seedling plugs (GNT43) on soils contaminated with trace metal elements (Pb, Cd, Zn). TV1 seems unsuitable for TME-contaminated field cultivation, as the survival rate was <60% in most treatments studied. The selected treatments did not increase the survival rate. Furthermore, the application of plastic mulch in combination with biochar resulted in a significant reduction of this parameter, regardless of the hybrid studied. The applied agrotechnology did not influence the TME accumulation in the aboveground plant parts in TV1, while Pb and Cd in GNT43 showed significantly higher values in all treatments. Contrary to expectations, biochar and plastic mulch applied separately and together neither increased survival nor reduced the accumulation of toxic TMEs during establishment on soil contaminated with TMEs and after the first growing season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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13 pages, 1215 KiB  
Article
Convergence between Development and Stress: Ectopic Xylem Formation in Arabidopsis Hypocotyl in Response to 24-Epibrassinolide and Cadmium
by Diego Piacentini, Federica Della Rovere, Simone D’Angeli, Laura Fattorini, Giuseppina Falasca, Camilla Betti and Maria Maddalena Altamura
Plants 2022, 11(23), 3278; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11233278 - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 968
Abstract
Ectopic xylary element (EXE) formation in planta is a poorly investigated process, and it is unknown if it occurs as a response to the soil pollutant Cadmium (Cd). The pericycle cells of Arabidopsis thaliana hypocotyl give rise to EXEs under specific hormonal inputs. [...] Read more.
Ectopic xylary element (EXE) formation in planta is a poorly investigated process, and it is unknown if it occurs as a response to the soil pollutant Cadmium (Cd). The pericycle cells of Arabidopsis thaliana hypocotyl give rise to EXEs under specific hormonal inputs. Cadmium triggers pericycle responses, but its role in EXE formation is unknown. Brassinosteroids (BRs) affect numerous developmental events, including xylogenesis in vitro, and their exogenous application by 24-epibrassinolide (eBL) helps to alleviate Cd-stress by increasing lateral/adventitious rooting. Epibrassinolide’s effects on EXEs in planta are unknown, as well as its relationship with Cd in the control of the process. The research aims to establish an eBL role in pericycle EXE formation, a Cd role in the same process, and the possible interaction between the two. Results show that 1 nM eBL causes an identity reversal between the metaxylem and protoxylem within the stele, and its combination with Cd reduces the event. All eBL concentrations increase EXEs, also affecting xylary identity by changing from protoxylem to metaxylem in a concentration-dependent manner. Cadmium does not affect EXE identity but increases EXEs when combined with eBL. The results suggest that eBL produces EXEs to form a mechanical barrier against the pollutant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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12 pages, 750 KiB  
Article
QTL Pyramiding and Its Use in Breeding for Increasing the Phytoextraction Efficiency of Soil Cd via High-Cd-Accumulating Rice
by Tadashi Abe, Masashi Ito, Ryuichi Takahashi, Toshimitsu Honma, Masato Kuramata and Satoru Ishikawa
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162178 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1219
Abstract
Phytoextraction by high-Cd-accumulating rice lacking a functional OsHMA3 allele is promising for Cd removal from paddy soils. To increase rice Cd extraction efficiency, we developed a new high-Cd variety, TJN25-11. For this, we pyramided a nonfunctional OsHMA3 allele from a high-Cd variety, Jarjan, [...] Read more.
Phytoextraction by high-Cd-accumulating rice lacking a functional OsHMA3 allele is promising for Cd removal from paddy soils. To increase rice Cd extraction efficiency, we developed a new high-Cd variety, TJN25-11. For this, we pyramided a nonfunctional OsHMA3 allele from a high-Cd variety, Jarjan, and two QTLs for increased shoot Cd concentrations, which were discovered in a mapping population derived from a high-Cd variety, Nepal 555, and a low-Cd variety, Tachisugata. In two Cd-contaminated paddy fields under drained aerobic soil conditions, TJN25-11 presented significantly higher Cd concentrations in the straw and panicles than the OsHMA3-deficient varieties TJTT8 and Cho-ko-koku. Among the varieties, TJN25-11 had a relatively high shoot biomass, resulting in the highest Cd accumulation in the shoots. The soil Cd decreased by approximately 20% after TJN25-11 growth. The amount of Cd that accumulated in the TJN25-11 aerial parts was much greater than the amount of Cd that decreased in the topsoil, suggesting that Cd was absorbed from deeper soil layers. Thus, we revealed the effects of QTL pyramiding on shoot Cd accumulation and Cd phytoextraction efficiency. Since TJN25-11 has favorable agronomic traits for compatibility with Japanese cultivation systems, this variety could be useful for Cd phytoextraction in Cd-contaminated paddy fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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Review

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19 pages, 937 KiB  
Review
The Effect of Cadmium on Plants in Terms of the Response of Gene Expression Level and Activity
by Dagmar Moravčíková and Jana Žiarovská
Plants 2023, 12(9), 1848; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12091848 - 30 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2215
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is a heavy metal that can cause damage to living organisms at different levels. Even at low concentrations, Cd can be toxic to plants, causing harm at multiple levels. As they are unable to move away from areas contaminated by Cd, [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) is a heavy metal that can cause damage to living organisms at different levels. Even at low concentrations, Cd can be toxic to plants, causing harm at multiple levels. As they are unable to move away from areas contaminated by Cd, plants have developed various defence mechanisms to protect themselves. Hyperaccumulators, which can accumulate and detoxify heavy metals more efficiently, are highly valued by scientists studying plant accumulation and detoxification mechanisms, as they provide a promising source of genes for developing plants suitable for phytoremediation techniques. So far, several genes have been identified as being upregulated when plants are exposed to Cd. These genes include genes encoding transcription factors such as iron-regulated transporter-like protein (ZIP), natural resistance associated macrophage protein (NRAMP) gene family, genes encoding phytochelatin synthases (PCs), superoxide dismutase (SOD) genes, heavy metal ATPase (HMA), cation diffusion facilitator gene family (CDF), Cd resistance gene family (PCR), ATP-binding cassette transporter gene family (ABC), the precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) and precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid oxidase (ACO) multigene family are also influenced. Thanks to advances in omics sciences and transcriptome analysis, we are gaining more insights into the genes involved in Cd stress response. Recent studies have also shown that Cd can affect the expression of genes related to antioxidant enzymes, hormonal pathways, and energy metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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10 pages, 1098 KiB  
Review
The Road to Practical Application of Cadmium Phytoremediation Using Rice
by Ryuichi Takahashi, Masashi Ito and Tomohiko Kawamoto
Plants 2021, 10(9), 1926; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10091926 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2876
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic heavy metal that causes severe health issues in humans. Cd accumulates in the human body when foods produced in Cd-contaminated fields are eaten. Therefore, soil remediation of contaminated fields is necessary to provide safe foods. Rice is one [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic heavy metal that causes severe health issues in humans. Cd accumulates in the human body when foods produced in Cd-contaminated fields are eaten. Therefore, soil remediation of contaminated fields is necessary to provide safe foods. Rice is one of the primary candidates for phytoremediation. There is a genotypic variation of Cd concentration in the shoots and grains of rice. Using the world rice core collection, ‘Jarjan’, ‘Anjana Dhan’, and ‘Cho-ko-koku’ were observed with a significantly higher level of Cd accumulation in the shoots and grains. Moreover, OsHMA3, a heavy metal transporter, was identified as a responsive gene of quantitative trait locus (QTL) for high Cd concentration in the shoots of these three varieties likewise. However, it is difficult to apply practical phytoremediation to these varieties because of their unfavorable agricultural traits, such as shatter and easily lodged. New rice varieties and lines were bred for Cd phytoremediation using OsHMA3 as a DNA marker selection. All of them accumulated Cd in the shoots equal to or higher than ‘Cho-ko-koku’ with improved cultivation traits. Therefore, they can be used for practical Cd phytoremediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insight into Cadmium Phytoremediation)
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