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Nickel biopathways in tropical nickel hyperaccumulating trees from Sabah (Malaysia)

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-02-16, 00:00 authored by A Van Der Ent, Damien CallahanDamien Callahan, B N Noller, J Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, W J Przybylowicz, A Barnabas, H H Harris
The extraordinary level of accumulation of nickel (Ni) in hyperaccumulator plants is a consequence of specific metal sequestering and transport mechanisms, and knowledge of these processes is critical for advancing an understanding of transition element metabolic regulation in these plants. The Ni biopathways were elucidated in three plant species, Phyllanthus balgooyi, Phyllanthus securinegioides (Phyllanthaceae) and Rinorea bengalensis (Violaceae), that occur in Sabah (Malaysia) on the Island of Borneo. This study showed that Ni is mainly concentrated in the phloem in roots and stems (up to 16.9% Ni in phloem sap in Phyllanthus balgooyi) in all three species. However, the species differ in their leaves - in P. balgooyi the highest Ni concentration is in the phloem, but in P. securinegioides and R. bengalensis in the epidermis and in the spongy mesophyll (R. bengalensis). The chemical speciation of Ni 2+ does not substantially differ between the species nor between the plant tissues and transport fluids, and is unambiguously associated with citrate. This study combines ion microbeam (PIXE and RBS) and metabolomics techniques (GC-MS, LC-MS) with synchrotron methods (XAS) to overcome the drawbacks of the individual techniques to quantitatively determine Ni distribution and Ni 2+ chemical speciation in hyperaccumulator plants.



Scientific reports



Article number



1 - 21


Nature Publishing Group


London, Eng.





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2017, The Authors