By Professor M. N. V. Prasad, Dr. J. Hagemeyer (auth.)

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Metal accumulation not only varies between species but may also vary within a species. ; Fig. 7 A). The concentration within the plants differed 43, 23, and 130 times between the highest and lowest accu- mulating clone of Cd, Cu and Zn, respectively. The differences in accumulation of a metal were not correlated with tolerance to that metal. Instead, it has been suggested that Salix spp growing on highly contaminated areas have low transport of the metal to the shoot, thus photosynthesis is protected and the plant becomes tolerant (Landberg and Greger 1996).

Examples are citric acid, all amino acids, dicarboxylic acids like succinic acid, and several anthropogenic igands like EDTA, NTA or ethylendiamine. 3 shows the schematic structures of two simple chelate complexes. Since these ligands carry two or more donor atoms coordinated to the same metal ion, their stability is greater than that of the bis-complex with two monodentate ligands. 04 dm3mol·t, Gerloch 1994). This means that if equal amounts of both ligands are present, the metal ion prefers the coordination of the chelating ligand.

6. Plants with three different uptake characteristics metal at quite high external metal concentrations. These plants have some kind of barrier to avoid uptake, but when metal concentrations become too high , this barrier loses its function, probably due to toxic action by the metal, and the uptake massively increases. Other plants, called accumulators, have high accumulation of metals at very low external metal concentrations. These plants have certain detoxification mechanisms within the tissue, which allow the plant to accumulate such high amounts of metals.

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