Reciprocal grafting separates the roles of the root and shoot in zinc hyperaccumulation in Thlaspi caerulescens

Marcelo de A. Guimaraes, Jeffery L. Gustin, David E. Salt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)



The extreme phenotype of zinc (Zn) hyperaccumulation, which is found in several Brassicaceae species, is determined by mechanisms that promote elevated Zn tolerance and high Zn accumulation in shoots.• We used reciprocal grafting between a Zn hyperaccumulator, Thlaspi caerulescens, and a Zn nonaccumulator, Thlaspi perfoliatum, to determine the relative importance of roots and shoots in Zn hyperaccumulation and hypertolerance.• Leaves from plants with a T. perfoliatum rootstock and a T. caerulescens shoot scion did not hyperaccumulate Zn, whereas plants with a T. caerulescens rootstock and a T. perfoliatum shoot scion did hyperaccumulate Zn. However, although leaves from plants with a T. caerulescens rootstock and a T. perfoliatum shoot scion hyperaccumulated Zn, at high Zn loads these leaves showed significant symptoms of Zn toxicity, unlike leaves of self grafted T. caerulescens.• Hyperaccumulation of Zn in leaves of the hyperaccumulator T. caerulescens is pri-marily dictated by root processes. Further, the mechanisms controlling Zn hypertolerance in the hyperaccumulator T. caerulescens are driven primarily by shoot processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-329
Number of pages7
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number2
Early online date27 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • chlorophyll
  • grafting
  • hyperaccumulation
  • inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS)
  • Thlaspi caerulescens
  • Thlaspi perfoliatum
  • zinc (Zn)
  • arabidopsis-halleri
  • cellular compartmentation
  • metal hyperaccumulation
  • tolerance
  • Genes
  • expression
  • cadmium
  • plants
  • brassicaceae
  • homeostasis

Cite this