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Regulatory Mechanisms of Nitrogen (N) on Cadmium (Cd) Uptake and Accumulation in Plants: A Review
Yongjie Yang+, Jie Xiong+, Longxing Tao, Zhenzhen Cao, Wei Tang, Jianping Zhang, Xiaoyue Yu , Guanfu Fu, Xiufu Zhang and Yongliang Lu*
Science of the Total Environment

Abstract

Cadmium (Cd) is a heavy metal that is toxic to plants and animals. Nitrogen (N), the mostsignificant macro-nutrient and a common input for crop production, is often excessively applied than plants’ demands by farmers to obtain more economic benefits. Understanding the regulatory mechanisms of N that control Cd uptake, translocation, and accumulation may enable the development of solutions regarding Cd pollution in the trophic chain, a major and global threat to agricultural sustainability and human health. In this review, we clarified that an increased amount of N, regardless of its form, enhances Cd uptake, translocation, and accumulation in plants, and nitrate promotes Cd uptake more than any other N form. We also described that N fertilizer alters the Cd exchange capacity and the bio-available Cd content in soil; regulates nitric oxide induced divalent cation gene expression of Nramp1, HMA2, and IRT1; and changes cell wall isolation, chelation capacity, and oxidative resistance to regulate Cd accumulation in plants. By revealing the integrated interaction effects between Cd accumulation and N fertiliser use, we propose new challenges to investigate the functions and mechanisms of N in Cd-contaminated croplands and develop suitable N-fertilisation protocols to practically reduce food health risks in agricultural food production.