John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

The dose‐dependet influence of zinc and cadmium contamination of soil on their uptake and glucosinolate content in white cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. Capitata F. alba)

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The relationship between the ability to accumulate heavy metals (represented by Cd and Zn) and to synthesize bioactive compounds (represented by glucosinolates[GLS]) was investigated in two cabbage cultivars. Plants were grown in the greenhouse of a phytotron under controlled conditions in soils spiked with two different Zn or Cd concentrations. The measurements of Cd and Zn contents in soil and cabbage (leaf) samples were performed by atomic absorption spectroscopy, whereas GLS levels in cabbage were determined by high‐performance liquid chromatography. The ranges of metal contents in soil were 80 to 450 mg/kg dry weight for Zn and 0.3 to 30 mg/kg dry weight for Cd, whereas the levels of accumulated Zn and Cd in cabbage amounted to 15 to 130 and 0.02 to 3 mg/kg dry weight, respectively. After initial symptoms of toxicity, during a later stage of growth, the plants exhibited very good tolerance to both metals. Enhanced biosynthesis of GLS was observed in a dose‐dependent manner following exposure to the heavy metals. The GLS content in Zn‐exposed cabbage rose from 3.2 to 12 µmol/g dry weight, and the corresponding values for Cd‐treated plants were 3.5 to 10 µmol/g dry weight. Thus, the increased soil contamination by metals causedgreater accumulation in cabbage, as well as stimulating GLS biosynthesis. The results obtained point to the high phytoremediation and biofumigation potential of white cabbage. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. © 2012 SETAC

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