Intra-specific variation in zinc, cadmium and nickel hypertolerance and hyperaccumulation capacities in Noccaea caerulescens

Anna D. Kozhevnikova, Ilya V. Seregin, Mark G.M. Aarts, Henk Schat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: The study aimed at characterizing the patterns of natural variation in the tolerance and accumulation capacities for zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and nickel (Ni) between and within edaphic ecotypes of the Zn/Cd/Ni hyperaccumulator, Noccaea caerulescens. Methods: Tolerance was assessed in a hydroponic ‘sequential exposure’ test, using the lowest concentration that completely arrested root growth as an end point. Accumulation was measured as the foliar metal concentration after six weeks of growth at 5 µM Zn, 2 µM Cd, or 1 µM Ni. Results: Zn and Cd tolerance were positively correlated, and highest in the calamine ecotype. Ni tolerance was without significant ecotypic variation. The ultramafic ecotype was as Zn-tolerant as the non-metallicolous one, but much more sensitive to Cd. The accumulation capacities for Zn, Cd and Ni were all positively correlated and without significant ecotypic variation. Zn hyperaccumulation capacity was species-wide, but Cd and Ni hyperaccumulation capacities were lacking in four populations (all calamine). Conclusions: There is considerable independent variation among populations regarding their Zn, Cd, and Ni accumulation capacities. This variation is most pronounced within the calamine ecotype, because some populations apparently had adopted an exclusion strategy for Zn or Cd hypertolerance, whereas others had not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479–498
JournalPlant and Soil
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2020


  • Cadmium
  • Ecotypic variation
  • Heavy metal adaptation
  • Metal hyperaccumulation
  • Metal tolerance
  • Metallophyte
  • Nickel
  • Noccaea caerulescens
  • Root growth
  • Zinc

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