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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 13 No. 3, p. 483-487
    Received: Mar 22, 1982

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Cuticular Behavior of Cadmium Studied using Isolated Plant Cuticles1

  1. Andre R. Chamel,
  2. Bernadette Gambonnet,
  3. Claire Genova and
  4. Agnes Jourdain2



The cuticular retention and penetration of 115mCd (metastable cadmium-115) were studied using isolated pear (Pyrus communis L. ‘Passe Crassane’) leaves, and apple (Malus pumila Mill. ‘Akane’) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) fruit cuticles to obtain a better understanding of the behavior of Cd deposited on the aerial parts of plants. Results show that Cd, as CdCl2, may be taken up by isolated cuticles. The mean value calculated from results obtained with different cuticular species was 1.4 µg Cd/cm2 with CdCl2 (11.8 mg Cd/L, pH ≈ 6). The cuticular retention depended greatly on the plant species when results are expressed on the basis of the dry weight. The study of the washing with water or exchange solutions suggests that the retention corresponds to a fraction sorbed as solute and to another fraction constituted by exchangeable Cd ions. At first it increased rapidly, then progressively tended to a saturation level as the concentration varied from 0.5 mg to 1.1 g Cd/L. It was observed with dewaxed cuticles that the cuticular matrix was predominantly implicated in the retention. There appeared an interaction with Zn, suggesting a competition for the same sites of fixation. It was possible to reveal the cuticular penetration of Cd through intact cuticles; it was very slow but was greater with diluted HCl than with pure water as a receiver. These results are consistent with data obtained from experiments on entire plants, showing that the greatest part of Cd deposited on leaves is recovered at the deposit place.

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