Accumulation and distribution of arsenic and cadmium in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) at different developmental stages

Gao Ling Shi, Dao Jun Li, Yu Feng Wang, Chang Hao Liu, Zhu Bing Hu, Lai Qing Lou, Zed Rengel, Qing Sheng Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) are known to be toxic to humans, and elevated concentrations have been documented in food crops worldwide. However, little is known regarding their uptake, translocation, and distribution in wheat plants during plant development. A series of experiments were conducted to investigate the spatial distribution and dynamics of As and Cd in two wheat cultivars (cv. JN12 and JM85; the latter is a low grain Cd accumulator) at different developmental stages. Root concentrations of As decreased by 84%. and those of Cd by 67%, from tillering to maturity. In contrast, As concentrations in the stems increased 3.1-fold. A significant decrease in root As accumulation was observed at the mature stage, whereas root Cd accumulation decreased largely at the elongation stage. The concentrations of Cd in all leaves and As in new leaves increased as plant growth advanced. However, As concentrations in old leaves decreased significantly from grain filling to maturity. In both cultivars, the upward transfer toward younger parts of shoots was greater in the case of Cd than of As. The remobilization of As and Cd from stems and roots differed between the two cultivars. Arsenic concentrations in rachis, glumes, and grain in JM85 were significantly higher than those in JN12, whereas As concentrations in roots and stems did not differ between the cultivars. Grain Cd was significantly higher in JN12 than in JM85, but Cd concentrations in rachis and glumes were similar between the cultivars. The difference in grain Cd concentration between the two cultivars depended on root and stem Cd remobilization and redistribution from rachis to glumes and grain; in contrast, accumulation of As in grain was influenced by As remobilization from the leaves and stem to the spike. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-539
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Accumulation and distribution of arsenic and cadmium in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) at different developmental stages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this