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Cd Accumulation and Subcellular Distribution in Plants and Their Relevance to the Trophic Transfer of Cd


Cadmium (Cd) is an elemental substance that occurs naturally in the earth's crust, and is variously taken up and incorporated into plant biological systems. Environmental contamination with this non-essential metal presents a challenge to plant species because they are often not equipped to regulate internal concentrations of Cd or to employ proper detoxification mechanisms. This review examines the movement of Cd from soil to plants, how different plant species handle Cd stress by evolutive acquisition of different mechanisms of tolerance and accumulation patterns. The consequences and toxic effects of Cd (hyper)accumulation in plants and other organisms to animal consumers in terrestrial ecosystems are highlighted. Understanding Cd uptake of plants, how they handle Cd contamination and how they made Cd bioavailable in trophic food chains is critical to the long-term safety and conservation of agricultural resources and ecosystems services and functions.


Cadmium • Metal compartmentalization • Metal trophic transfer • Plant hyperaccumulation • Ecotoxicology

(Amini et al. 2005; Peris et al. 2007). Compared to other metals, cadmium (Cd) is of great concern due to its high toxicity to animals and humans. Cadmium in soils is easily concentrated in particular edible parts of plants, which can threaten human health via food chains.

Cadmium is a naturally occurring element, and its presence has been detected in more than 1,000 species of aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna (Eisler 1985). With one known exception, there is no evidence that Cd is biologically essential or beneficial; on the contrary, it has been

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