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Some effects of nitrogen nutrition on caesium uptake and translocation by species in the Poaceae, Asteraceae and Caryophyllidae

Willey, N.; Tang, S.


Neil Willey
Professor in Env Plant Physiology

S. Tang


There is current interest in managing and manipulating 137Cs transfer from soil to plants. We hypothesized that N source might affect Cs uptake by plants and report experiments that confirm this. Uptake experiments using hydroponics with a variety of species in the Poaceae, Asteraceae and Caryophyllid clade grown in a variety of N regimes with excess N and then acutely exposed to Cs showed that N nutrition could affect Cs uptake rates, total amounts of Cs taken up and root:shoot ratios of Cs. In general, the Caryophyllids tested produced significantly less shoot and root biomass but had higher Cs uptake rates when grown on NH4+ rather than NO3-, whilst species from the Poaceae and Asteraceae almost always produced similar shoot and root biomass and had similar Cs uptake on NH4+, NO3- or glycine as N sources. This is the first time that plants grown on an organic-N source have been demonstrated to take up Cs. Physiological experiments using N-starvation and the N-metabolism inhibitor methionine sulfoxamine (MSX) demonstrated that Cs transport into the root was inversely related to NH4+ transport, i.e. NH4+-grown plants had higher Cs uptake rates if there is no NH4+ present during uptake but lower Cs uptake rates if NH4+ is present. It is suggested that taking account of N ecophysiology might help refine predictions of soil-to-plant transfer of 137Cs and, in some instances, be useful for managing or manipulating it. It is noted that there is much recent research into N nutrition in plants that might be useful in achieving this. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Willey, N., & Tang, S. (2006). Some effects of nitrogen nutrition on caesium uptake and translocation by species in the Poaceae, Asteraceae and Caryophyllidae. Environmental and Experimental Botany, 58(1-3), 114-122.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 1, 2006
Journal Environmental and Experimental Botany
Print ISSN 0098-8472
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 58
Issue 1-3
Pages 114-122
Keywords 137Cs uptake, 137Cs translocation, N-nutrition, plant species, radioecology
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