Thiol peptides induction in the seagrass Thalassia testudinum (Banks ex Knig) in response to cadmium exposure.
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Trace metal accumulation and thiol compounds synthesis as induced by cadmium exposure was studied in the seagrass Thalassia testudinum. Shoots were exposed for 24, 48, 96 and 144 h to several CdCl(2) concentrations (0, 30, 50 and 70 microM). Levels of cadmium, cysteine, glutathione (GSH), gamma-glutamylcysteine (gamma-EC), and phytochelatin-like peptides were determined in green blades, live sheaths and root/rhizomes tissues. Metal accumulation was dependent on Cd concentration and type of tissue, with green blades showing the highest content followed by live sheaths and root/rhizomes. All tissues experienced an increase in thiol-containing compounds as a response to cadmium exposure. Live sheaths showed the highest levels of cysteine, GSH and gamma-EC. This is the first report of induction of thiol peptides, presumably phytochelatins, by a trace metal in a sea grass species.