Metabolite modifications in Solanum lycopersicum roots and leaves under cadmium stress

  • LB Zoghlami
  • W Djebali
  • Z Abbes
  • H Hediji
  • M Maucourt
  • A Moing
  • R Brouquisse
  • W Chaïbi
Keywords: Cadmium, sugars, organic acids, amino acids, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)


The effects of cadmium (Cd) were investigated on growth and metabolite profiling in roots and leaves of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L., Var. Ibiza F1) plants exposed for 3 and 10 days to various CdCl2 concentrations (0 - 300 ìM). The aim of this study was to describe metabolite modifications in response to Cd stress and to identify Cd stress markers in the roots and leaves of tomato plants. During the treatment, Cd accumulated  significantly in the roots compared to stems and leaves. Plant growth (root, stem and leaf) decreased when Cd concentration increased. The analysis of 1H-NMR spectra of polar extracts showed clear differences between metabolites amounts (soluble sugars, organic and amino acids) in 30 and 300 ìM Cd-treated plants versus control ones. Among soluble sugars and organic acids, glucose, fructose and citrate contents significantly increased, by a factor 2 to 5 in both leaves and roots of Cd treated plants during the first three days of the treatment and then only in roots. In addition, Cd induced qualitative and quantitative changes in amino acid contents in the roots. Asparagine, glutamine and branched chain amino acids (valine, isoleucine, phenylalanine and tryptophane) significantly accumulated after 10 days of Cd exposure. Asparagine content which increased by 26 fold in the roots of 300 ìM Cd treated plants when compared with control ones, was found to be a good marker for Cd stress. In contrast, few modifications occurred in the leaves in response to Cd, except for tyrosine which content was highly increased (by 10 fold) after three days of treatment with 30 ìM. Taken together, our results show that, the exposure of tomato plants to various Cd concentrations results in significant changes in primary metabolism compounds, especially in the accumulation of some amino and organic acids involved in cellular compartmentation and detoxification of Cd.

Key words: Cadmium, sugars, organic acids, amino acids, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum).


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eISSN: 1684-5315