J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (8): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00116.x

• Research Articles •    

Effect of Heavy Metals (Cd, Cu) on the Gametophytes of Laminaria japonica Aresch

Nai-Hao YE, Guang-Ce WANG,Cheng-Kui TSENG   

Abstract: Effects of various concentrations of two heavy metals, namely Cd and Cu, on gametophytes of Laminaria japonica Aresch were determined by recording morphological changes of gametophytes, determining pH values and the heavy metal content of the culture solution, calculating the germination rate of sporophytes, and observing heavy metal (Cd) distribution using a fluorescence microscope. The results showed that heavy metals damaged the gametophytes, and were even lethal, and that the higher the concentration of heavy metal ions, the greater the injury to gametophytes. Gametophytes could not survive in culture solutions containing more than 100 mg/L Cd and 50 mg/L Cu and were only able to survive in culture solution containing a mixture of Cd and Cu up to a concentration of 10 mg/L, which indicates that gametophytes have a higher tolerance to Cd than Cu and that multiple heavy metal ions in solution markedly aggravate the damage to gametophytes compared with individual heavy metal ions. With increases in the concentration of the heavy metal, the burgeoning rate of sporophytes decreased acutely, and solutions containing multiple heavy metal ions caused even more marked harm to sporophytes than solutions containing a single heavy metal ion, because most sporophytes died in mixed solutions. The pH value of the culture medium dropped immediately at the beginning (the first day) of treatment, increased over the following days, and then decreased again. The pH of culture media containing multiple heavy metal ions showed greater variation than media containing a single heavy metal ion, with the extent of the decrease in pH of culture media containing multiple ions being greatest during the last period of the experiment. With increases in the concentration of heavy metals, the capacity of gametophytes to accumulate these ions increased. The blue fluorescent light emitted by the Cd- and Cd-binding protein complex existing in gametophytes in media containing different concentrations of Cd showed clearly the distribution of the ion in gametophytes and the results obtained were consistent with distribution determined using other methods. All results of the present study showed that gametophytes of L. japonica play a remarkable role as heavy metal decontaminators, especially with regard to Cd.

Key words: Cd, Cu, gametophyte, heavy metals, Laminaria japonica.

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