2020 Volume 95 Issue 2 Pages 65-74
Athyrium yokoscense shows strong tolerance to cadmium exposure, even at levels that are many times greater than the toxic levels in ordinary plants. To determine the mechanism of Cd tolerance in A. yokoscense, we grew these plants under high Cd conditions and observed the tissue-specific accumulation of Cd and generation of reactive oxygen species, which is one of the major physiological responses to Cd stress. Fuchsin staining indicated the existence of a casparian strip in A. yokoscense roots, which may participate in Cd hypertolerance in A. yokoscense. Moreover, we performed RNA-seq of RNA samples from A. yokoscense plants treated with or without Cd exposure and obtained comprehensive RNA sequences as well as the Cd-responsive expression patterns of individual genes. Through de novo transcriptome assembly and gene expression analysis, we found that A. yokoscense showed normal features with no significant change in the expression levels of any transporter genes, even under high Cd exposure conditions. Our results demonstrate that A. yokoscense has an unusual mechanism that allows the invading Cd to partition into the distal roots, thus avoiding translocation of Cd into the xylem.