Phytochelatins are metal-binding metabolites found in almost all plant species and some animal groups, including nematodes and annelids, where they can play an important role in detoxifying metals such as cadmium. Species from several other taxa contain a phytochelatin synthase (PCS) gene orthologue, including molluscs, indicating they may have the potential to synthesize phytochelatins. However, the presence of a gene alone does not demonstrate that it plays a functional role in metal detoxification. In the present study, we show that the aquatic snail Lymnaea stagnalis produced both penta- and heptapeptide phytochelatins (i.e. phytochelatin-2 and phytochelatin-3), and their levels increased in response to sub-lethal levels of cadmium.
- Lymnaea stagnalis
- metal pollution