Pollution by toxic metals, accumulating into soils as result of human activities, is a worldwide major concern in industrial countries. Plants exhibit different degrees of tolerance to heavy metals, as a consequence of their ability to exclude or accumulate them in particular tissues, organs or sub-cellular compartments. Molecular information about cellular processes affected by heavy metals is still largely incomplete. As a fast-growing, highly tolerant perennial plant species, poplar has become a model for environmental stress response investigations. To study the short-term effects of cadmium accumulation in leaves, we analyzed photosystem II (PSII) quantum yield, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generation, hormone levels variation, as well as proteome profile alteration of 50μM CdSO4 vacuum-infiltrated poplar (Populus nigra L.) detached leaves. Cadmium management brought about an early and sustained production of hydrogen peroxide, an increase of abscisic acid, ethylene and gibberellins content, as well as a decrease in cytokinins and auxin levels, whereas photosynthetic electron transport was unaffected. Proteomic analysis revealed that twenty-one proteins were differentially induced in cadmium-treated leaves. Identification of fifteen polypeptides allowed to ascertain that most of them were involved in stress response while the remaining ones were involved in photosynthetic carbon metabolism and energy production. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.
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