Impaired leaf CO2 diffusion mediates Cd-induced inhibition of photosynthesis in the Zn/Cd hyperaccumulator Picris divaricata

Lu Tang, Rong-Rong Ying, Dan Jiang, Xiao-Wen Zeng, Jean-Louis Morel, Ye-Tao Tang, Rong-Liang Qiu
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB 2013, 73: 70-6
Mechanisms of cadmium (Cd)-induced inhibition of photosynthesis in the Zn/Cd hyperaccumulator Picris divaricata were investigated using photosynthesis limitation analysis. P. divaricata seedlings were grown in nutrient solution containing 0, 5, 10, 25, 50, or 75 μM Cd for 2 weeks. Total limitations to photosynthesis (TL) increased from 0% at 5 μM Cd to 68.8% at 75 μM Cd. CO2 diffusional limitation (DL) made the largest contribution to TL, accounting for 93-98% of TL in the three highest Cd treatments, compared to just 2-7% of TL attributable to biochemical limitation (BL). Microscopic imaging revealed significantly decreased stomatal density and mesophyll thickness in the three highest Cd treatments. Chlorophyll fluorescence parameters related to photosynthetic biochemistry (Fv/Fm, NPQ, ΦPSII, and qP) were not significantly decreased by increased Cd supply. Our results suggest that increased DL in leaves is the main cause of Cd-induced inhibition of photosynthesis in P. divaricata, possibly due to suppressed function of mesophyll and stomata. Analysis of chlorophyll fluorescence showed that Cd supply had little effect on photochemistry parameters, suggesting that the PSII reaction centers are not a main target of Cd inhibition of photosynthesis in P. divaricata.

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