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Type: Journal article
Title: Nickel biopathways in tropical nickel hyperaccumulating trees from Sabah (Malaysia)
Author: Van Der Ent, A.
Callahan, D.
Noller, B.
Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, J.
Przybylowicz, W.
Barnabas, A.
Harris, H.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2017; 7(1):41861-1-41861-21
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
Antony van der Ent, Damien L. Callahan, Barry N. Noller, Jolanta Mesjasz-Przybylowicz, Wojciech J. Przybylowicz, Alban Barnabas and Hugh H. Harris
Abstract: The extraordinary level of accumulation of nickel (Ni) in hyperaccumulator plants is a consequence of specific metal sequestering and transport mechanisms, and knowledge of these processes is critical for advancing an understanding of transition element metabolic regulation in these plants. The Ni biopathways were elucidated in three plant species, Phyllanthus balgooyi, Phyllanthus securinegioides (Phyllanthaceae) and Rinorea bengalensis (Violaceae), that occur in Sabah (Malaysia) on the Island of Borneo. This study showed that Ni is mainly concentrated in the phloem in roots and stems (up to 16.9% Ni in phloem sap in Phyllanthus balgooyi) in all three species. However, the species differ in their leaves - in P. balgooyi the highest Ni concentration is in the phloem, but in P. securinegioides and R. bengalensis in the epidermis and in the spongy mesophyll (R. bengalensis). The chemical speciation of Ni(2+) does not substantially differ between the species nor between the plant tissues and transport fluids, and is unambiguously associated with citrate. This study combines ion microbeam (PIXE and RBS) and metabolomics techniques (GC-MS, LC-MS) with synchrotron methods (XAS) to overcome the drawbacks of the individual techniques to quantitatively determine Ni distribution and Ni(2+) chemical speciation in hyperaccumulator plants.
Keywords: Plant Roots; Nickel; Malaysia; Phloem; Magnoliopsida
Rights: © The Author(s) 2017. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
RMID: 0030065063
DOI: 10.1038/srep41861
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Physics publications

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