Lead, zinc and iron (Fe2+) tolerances in wetland plants and relation to root anatomy and spatial pattern of ROL

H. Deng, Z. H. Ye, Ming Hung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Metal (Pb, Zn and Fe2+) tolerances, root anatomy and profile of radial oxygen loss (ROL) along the root (i.e., spatial pattern of ROL) were studied in 10 emergent wetland plants. The species studied could be classified into three groups. Group I included Alternanthera philoxeroides, Beckmannia syzigachne, Oenanthe javanica and Polypogon fugax, with high ROL along the whole length of root ('partial barrier' to ROL). Group II included Cyperus flabelliformis, Cyperus malaccensis, Juncus effusus, Leersia hexandra and Panicum paludosum, ROL of which was remarkably high just behind the root apex, but decreased significantly at relatively basal regions ('tight barrier' to ROL). Group III consisted of only Neyraudia reynaudiana, with extremely low ROL along the length of root. The results indicated that metal tolerance in wetland plants was related to root anatomy and spatial pattern of ROL. Co-evolution of metal (Fe and Zn) tolerance and flood tolerance possibly developed in wetland plants since species showing a 'tight barrier' to ROL (a common trait of flood-tolerant species) in basal root zones had higher Fe and Zn tolerances than those showing a 'partial barrier'. Root anatomy such as lignin and suberin deposition contributed to a 'tight barrier' in root and conferred to exclusion ability in tolerant species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-362
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Metal tolerance
  • Radial oxygen loss (ROL)
  • Root aerenchyma
  • Wetland plants


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