ABSTRACT As an essential element, zinc also is a heavy metal. Non-heading Chinese cabbage showed obvious tolerance to Zn stress in former research. To further understand the mechanisms involved in Zn adaptability and detoxification, two genotypes Suzhouqing and Aijiaohuang were selected to investigate the chemical forms of Zn and root exudation. Zinc stress obvious strained the plant growth, and Aijiaohuang was more injured than Suhouqing under Zn stress. Under normal Zn levels, the chemical forms of Zn were diverse in three organs between genotypes. Results showed extractions of 2% HAc, 80% ethanol and 1 M NaCl were separately dominant in roots, petioles and leaves. However, under Zn stress (13 mg·L–1 and 52 mg·L–1) most of the Zn was extracted by 1M NaCl, and the subdominant amount of Zn was extracted by 80% ethanol. In the control only four types of organic acid could be detected. While under Zn stress, oxalic acid, tartaric acid, malic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, citric acid and amber acid were all detected, so it could be speculated Zn detoxification with organic ligands or integrated with pectates and proteins in cells might be responsible for the adaptation of Zn stress in Chinese cabbage.
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