Physiological response and phytoremediation potential of Pinusthunbergii on Cd-contaminated Soil

Sim-Hee Han, DU-HYUN KIM, Venecio Ultra Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated physiological responses and phytoextraction ability of Pinus thunbergii in cadmium contaminated soil as part of our efforts in identifying plant materials for the restoration and revegetation of forest soil contaminated by heavy metals. Thirty seedlings (ten per treatment) were assigned to three treatments (control, 0.3 and 0.6 mM CdSO 4 solution) at first year experiment. At second year, ten seedlings per treatment treated with Cd during the first year experiment were divided by two groups (no Cd-treated and consecutive Cd-treated group). At first experiment, photosynthetic pigment content, and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities have significantly reduced by Cd application, and the reduction rate was increased much higher as the rate of Cd application increased. On the other hand, thiol and malondialdehyde (MDA) content were significantly increased at the application of 0.6mM of Cd. At the second year experiment, a general increase in chlorophyll and carotenoid content was observed with Cd treatment while SOD and GR activities showed a relative reduction compared to the control. Similar to the first year measurement, thiol and MDA contents also increased considerably due to Cd treatment. At harvest, dry matter was significantly reduced by Cd treatment especially at the rate of 0.6mM Cd, but dry yield of P. thunbergii treated with 0.3mM Cd was less affected and it was comparable with the control seeding. Cadmium concentration in seedling tissues increased with increasing Cd application rate while Cd uptake was higher in seedlings supplied with 0.3mM Cd which could be ascribe to their high dry matter. Overall, our study has demonstrated the unique physiological response of P. thunbergii to Cd-prolonged exposure by showing that the changes in photosynthetic pigment content and antioxidative enzyme activities were dependent on the concentration and duration of treatment. In addition, our results have demonstrated the potential of P. thunbergii to withstand up to 0.3mM Cd (equivalent to cumulative Cd concentration of 134.4 to 268 mg kg -1.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-719
JournalJournal of Korean Society of Forest Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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