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A Journal on Biotechnology and Molecular Biology
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,246
BIOREMEDIATION - Part II
Minerva Biotecnologica 2001 June;13(2):141-9
Metal tolerance in wetland plants?
McCabe O. M., Baldwin J. L., Otte M. L.
Wetland Ecology Research Group, Department of Botany, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland
Background. Metal tolerance in non-wetland plants may evolve following exposure to elevated metal concentrations, but this does not appear to be the case for wetland plants. In previous studies, no differences in metal tolerance were observed between populations of Typha latifolia or Phragmites australis from metal-contaminated and uncontaminated sites. In this study, zinc uptake and growth responses of populations of the wetland plant Glyceria fluitans of metal-contaminated (Glendalough) and uncontaminated origin (Lough Dan) were compared. The question as to whether or not metal tolerance is a constitutive feature of wetland plants is addressed.
Methods. In greenhouse experiments, Glyceria fluitans from Glendalough and Lough Dan were grown in (i) a range of zinc concentrations in zinc-amended sand culture and (ii) metal enriched tailings. Growth, biomass and zinc uptake responses were compared between both populations. A root elongation test was also carried out to compare both populations.
Results. When plants were grown on zinc-amended sand culture there was slight evidence for ecotypic differences between populations at the highest zinc treatment only. There were no observed differences between populations in the other zinc treatments or when plants were grown on metal-enriched tailings. In the root elongation test both populations again appeared to be equally tolerant of elevated zinc concentrations.
Conclusions. It appears that the populations of G. fluitans used in this study have not developed zinc-tolerant ecotypes but have an inherent tolerance to zinc. In light of this and other studies, metal tolerance may be a constitutive feature of wetland plants.