Physiological and Ultrastructural Responses to Excessive-Copper-Induced Toxicity in Two Differentially Copper Tolerant Citrus Species

Plants (Basel). 2023 Jan 11;12(2):351. doi: 10.3390/plants12020351.


Over-applied copper (Cu)-based agrochemicals are toxic to citrus trees. However, less information is available discussing the ultrastructural alterations in Cu-stressed citrus species. In the present study, seedlings of Citrus sinensis and Citrus grandis that differed in Cu-tolerance were sandy-cultured with nutrient solution containing 0.5 µM Cu (as control) or 300 µM Cu (as Cu toxicity) for 18 weeks. At the end of the treatments, the physiological parameters and ultrastructural features of the citrus leaves and roots were analyzed. The results indicate that Cu toxicity significantly decreased the ratio of shoot biomass to dry weight, the Cu translocation factor and the total chlorophyll of two citrus species. The anatomical and ultrastructural alterations verified that excessive Cu resulted in starch granules accumulated in the leaves and roots of the two citrus species. Under Cu toxicity, increased root flocculent precipitate and thickened root cell wall might reduce the Cu translocation from citrus roots to the shoots. Compared with C. sinensis, C. grandis maintained a relatively integral root cellular structure under Cu toxicity, which provided a structural basis for a higher Cu tolerance than C. sinensis. The present results increase our understanding of the physiological and ultrastructural responses to Cu toxicity in citrus species.

PMID:36679064 | DOI:10.3390/plants12020351


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