Antioxidants in Erica andevalensis: A comparative study between wild plants and cadmium-exposed plants under controlled conditions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Belén Marquez-Garcia
  • Nele Horemans
  • Ann Cuypers
  • Yves Guisez
  • Francisco Cordoba

Institutes & Expert groups

  • University of Huelva
  • UA - Universiteit Antwerpen
  • Uhasselt - Hasselt University

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Erica andevalensis is an endemic species from SW Iberian Peninsula, always growing in metal-enriched and acid soils. In the present study, a comparison was made between wild E. andevalensis plants collected from the field and cultivated ones exposed to different cadmium levels (0, 0.5, 5 and 50 μM). Wild plants contain higher levels of ascorbic acid (around 8000 nmol g−1 FW) than lab-cultivated control plants (around 3000 nmol g−1 FW). Glutathione levels follow an opposite trend being smaller in wild plants than lab-cultivated ones. Moreover, the total antioxidant capacity of wild plants is 90 times higher than in cultivated plants non-exposed to cadmium. Cadmium treatment of lab-cultivated plants did not affect the growth of E. andevalensis or the glutathione levels. However, the total antioxidative capacity increased in plants exposed to 50 μM of cadmium. Cadmium was added to the soil and it was transported into leaves reaching levels of 3.299 ± 0.781 μg Cd/g DW in plants exposed to 50 μM. These results underline a possible importance of antioxidants in the metal tolerance show by the high antioxidant capacity detected in both wild and lab-cultivated plants exposed to high cadmium levels.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-115
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Ascorbic acid, Ericaceae, Glutathione, Heavy metals, Pyritic belt, Total antioxidant capacity

ID: 6856319