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Gomphrena claussenii, a novel metal-hypertolerant bioindicator species, sequesters cadmium, but not zinc, in vacuolar oxalate crystals



Type of Spiritual Experience


A number of plants are being investigated for their chelating capability.  This plant is one of them.  But we have added it here as an example as there may be many more.

The plant is able to extract heavy metals from polluted environemts - though clearly the last thing you should do in  this case is eat it.

But it may also be able to extract heavy metals from human beings - this is an hypothesis from the findings here.  I have also provided a link to gout, because the plant in processing heavy metals produces crystals and one of the symptoms of gout is crystal formation.

Another thing it appears to indicate is that the three ingredients that help in the chelation are citrate [found in citrus fruits], malate [found in apples, etc] and oxalate.


A description of the experience

ew Phytol. 2015 Jun 17. doi: 10.1111/nph.13500. [Epub ahead of print]

Gomphrena claussenii, a novel metal-hypertolerant bioindicator species, sequesters cadmium, but not zinc, in vacuolar oxalate crystals.

Villafort Carvalho MT1, Pongrac P2, Mumm R3, van Arkel J3, van Aelst A4, Jeromel L5, Vavpetič P5, Pelicon P5, Aarts MG1.

Gomphrena claussenii is a recently described zinc (Zn)- and cadmium (Cd)-hypertolerant Amaranthaceae species displaying a metal bioindicator Zn/Cd accumulation response. We investigated the Zn and Cd distribution in stem and leaf tissues of G. claussenii at the cellular level, and determined metabolite profiles to investigate metabolite involvement in Zn and Cd sequestration. Gomphrena claussenii plants exposed to high Zn and Cd supply were analysed by scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX) and micro-proton-induced X-ray emission (micro-PIXE). In addition, gas chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS) was used to determine metabolite profiles on high Zn and Cd exposure. Stem and leaf tissues of G. claussenii plants exposed to control and high Cd conditions showed the abundant presence of calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals, but on high Zn exposure, their abundance was strongly reduced. Ca and Cd co-localized to the CaOx crystals in Cd-exposed plants.

Citrate, malate and oxalate levels were all higher in shoot tissues of metal-exposed plants, with oxalate levels induced 2.6-fold on Zn exposure and 6.4-fold on Cd exposure. Sequestration of Cd in vacuolar CaOx crystals of G. claussenii is found to be a novel mechanism to deal with Cd accumulation and tolerance.

© 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

KEYWORDS:  Gomphrena claussenii ; cadmium (Cd); calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystal; cellular distribution; zinc (Zn)

PMID:  26083742

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