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Assessment of Castor Plant (Ricinus communis L.) Tolerance to Heavy Metal Stress-A Review

Akwasi Yeboah1, Jiannong Lu1, Ting Yang1, Yuzhen Shi1, Hanna Amoanimaa-Dede1, Kwadwo Gyapong Agyenim Boateng2, Xuegui Yin1,*

1 Department of Crop Breeding and Genetics, College of Agricultural Sciences, Guangdong Ocean University, Zhanjiang, 524088, China
2 The National Engineering Laboratory for Crop Molecular Breeding, MARA Key Laboratory of Soybean Biology (Beijing), Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China

* Corresponding Author: Xuegui Yin. Email: email

(This article belongs to the Special Issue: Crop Production under Abiotic Stress: Physiological and Molecular Interventions)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2020, 89(3), 453-472.


Increased urbanization and industrialization have greatly contributed to the emission of higher amount of heavy metals such as cadmium, nickel, and lead into the environment. These metals are non-biodegradable and toxic, causing much effects on plants and by extension to animals and humans, which have become a major global concern. The inherent ability of plants to resist heavy metal toxicity seems to be the most sustainable and cost-effective strategy. Castor plant is widely studied due to its tolerance to the effects of heavy metal contaminated soils, owing to its large biomass content and high accumulating capacity. Castor plants to some extent can tolerate elevated levels of heavy metals through several developed mechanisms, such as activation of antioxidant enzymes, exclusion, accumulation of proline, compartmentalization, organic acid exudation, and phytochelatins. Molecular studies have identified some stress-responsive to aid the tolerance of heavy metals in castor. Stress caused by heavy metal toxicity affects seedling growth, biomass, photosynthetic pigments, protein level, and nutrient uptake of castor plant. The response of castor, however, to these stresses differs among cultivars, metal type and concentration, and time of metal applied. This review aims to summarize the physiological responses and various defense mechanisms of castor to tolerate and eradicate heavy metal toxicity and some stress-responsive genes identified at transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels that confer metal tolerance in this plant.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Yeboah, A., Lu, J., Yang, T., Shi, Y., Amoanimaa-Dede, H. et al. (2020). Assessment of castor plant (ricinus communis L.) tolerance to heavy metal stress-a review. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 89(3), 453-472.
Vancouver Style
Yeboah A, Lu J, Yang T, Shi Y, Amoanimaa-Dede H, Boateng KGA, et al. Assessment of castor plant (ricinus communis L.) tolerance to heavy metal stress-a review. Phyton-Int J Exp Bot. 2020;89(3):453-472
IEEE Style
A. Yeboah et al., "Assessment of Castor Plant (Ricinus communis L.) Tolerance to Heavy Metal Stress-A Review," Phyton-Int. J. Exp. Bot., vol. 89, no. 3, pp. 453-472. 2020.


cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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