Low cadmium (LCD), a novel gene related to cadmium tolerance and accumulation in rice

J Exp Bot. 2011 Nov;62(15):5727-34. doi: 10.1093/jxb/err300. Epub 2011 Sep 9.


The contamination of food crops by cadmium (Cd) is a major concern in food production because it can reduce crop yields and threaten human health. In this study, knockout rice plants (Oryza sativa) tagged with the gene trap vector pGA2707 were screened for Cd tolerance, and the tolerant line lcd was obtained. The lcd mutant showed tolerance to Cd on agar plates and in hydroponic culture during early plant development. Metal concentration measurements in hydroponically grown plants revealed significantly less Cd in the shoots of lcd plants compared with wild-type (WT) shoots. When cultured in the field in soil artificially contaminated with low levels of Cd, lcd showed no significant difference in the Cd content of its leaf blades; however, the Cd concentration in the grains was 55% lower in 2009 and 43% lower in 2010. There were no significant differences in plant dry weight or seed yield between lcd and wild-type plants. LCD, a novel gene, is not homologous to any other known gene. LCD localized to the cytoplasm and nucleus, and was expressed mainly in the vascular tissues in the roots and phloem companion cells in the leaves. These data indicate that lcd may be useful for understanding Cd transport mechanisms and is a promising candidate rice line for use in combating the threat of Cd to human health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cadmium / metabolism*
  • Cadmium / toxicity*
  • Oryza / drug effects
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / drug effects
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Shoots / drug effects
  • Plant Shoots / genetics
  • Plant Shoots / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / drug effects
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins
  • Cadmium