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    Biscutella laevigata is the strongest known thallium (Tl) hyperaccumulator plant species. However, little is known about the ecophysiological processes leading to root uptake and translocation of Tl in this species, and the interactions between Tl and its chemical analogue potassium (K). Biscutella laevigata was subjected to hydroponics experimentation in which it was exposed to Tl and K, and it was investigated in a rhizobox experiment. Laboratory-based micro-X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (μ-XRF) was used to reveal the Tl distribution in the roots and leaves, while synchrotron-based μ-XRF was utilised to reveal elemental distribution in the seed. The results show that in the seed Tl was mainly localised in the endosperm and cotyledons. In mature plants, Tl was highest in the intermediate leaves (16,100 μg g-1), while it was one order of magnitude lower in the stem and roots. Potassium did not inhibit or enhance Tl uptake in B.laevigata. At the organ level, Tl was localised in the blade and margins of the leaves. Roots foraged for Tl and cycled Tl across roots growing in the control soils. Biscutella laevigata has ostensibly evolved specialised mechanisms to tolerate high Tl concentrations in its shoots. The lack of interactions and competition between Tl and K suggests that it is unlikely that Tl is taken up via K channels, but high affinity Tl transporters remain to be identified in this species. Thallium is not only highly toxic but also a valuable metal and Tl phytoextraction using B. laevigata should be explored. Copyright © 2022 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Amelia Corzo Remigio, Filip Pošćić, Philip Nti Nkrumah, Mansour Edraki, Kathryn M Spiers, Dennis Brueckner, Antony van der Ent. Comprehensive insights in thallium ecophysiology in the hyperaccumulator Biscutella laevigata. The Science of the total environment. 2022 Sep 10;838(Pt 2):155899

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    PMID: 35569660

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