Zhejiang Univ, Dept Environm Engn, Hangzhou 310029, Peoples R China
; Acad Sinica, Inst High Energy Phys, Beijing 100039, Peoples R China
Elsholtzia splendens is a copper tolerant plant growing in copper mine areas in south of China and accumulates considerable heavy metals in plant tissue. In this study, synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (SRXRF) microprobe was used to study the Cu and other elements distribution in E. splendens. The element (P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn) in the leaf epidermis and cross-sections of the stem and leaf could be checked by SRXRF which was considered a sensitive technique for trace element analysis. The highest Cu levels were measured in the vascular tissues of stem and petiole, while Cu levels in mesophyll were higher than in leaf epidermis. The levels of most elements were not higher in trichomes than in other tissues. It seems that the celluar compartmentation of heavy metals in epidermis and epidermal trichomes was not the general feature of all plants. There was a significant correlation between Cu and P, S, Ca in distribution, which suggested P, S, and Ca played an important role in Cu accumulation of E. splendens. Based on the significant correlation between Cu and elements Mn, Fe, and Zn in distribution, it seemed that Cu, Mn, Fe, and Zn could be transported by the same transporters with a broad substrate range. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.