Effect of cadmium on nodulation and N2-fixation of soybean in contaminated soils

Y. X. Chen*, Y. F. He, Y. Yang, Y. L. Yu, S. J. Zheng, G. M. Tian, Y. M. Luo, Ming Hung WONG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of cadmium stress on nodulation, N2-fixation capabilities of the root nodule, the change in ultrastructure of the root nodule, soybean growth, and the distribution of cadmium in plants were studied. The results obtained show that the nodulation of soybean roots was greatly inhibited by the addition of Cd, especially at the addition level of 10 and 20 mg kg-1 soil. The inhibition of plant growth, especially the root growth, increased as the cadmium concentration increased, with deleterious effects observed for the roots. The weight ratio of soybean root/leaf decreased as the Cd concentration increased, which might explain the reason for nodulation decreases. The results also indicate that N2-fixation of root nodule was stimulated to some extent at the low levels of Cd addition, but decreased sharply with further increase of the Cd concentration. High Cd levels were also associated with changes in the ultrastructure of root nodule, in which the effective N2-fixing area was reduced and the N2-fixing cells in the area also reduced. In addition, the results also reveal that the content of Cd in different parts of the plants was as follows: roots ≫ stems > seeds, indicating that the accumulation of Cd by roots is much larger than that by any other part of the soybean plant, and might cause deleterious effects to root systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-787
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cadmium
  • Heavy metal stress
  • N-fixation
  • Nodulation
  • Soybean growth


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