Differences in X-ray absorption due to cadmium treatment in Saponaria Officinalis leaves

Lucia Reale*, Antonia Lai, Adele Tucci, Anna Poma, Anatoly Faenov, Tania Pikuz, Francesco Flora, Laura Spano, Tania Limongi, Libero Palladino, Antonio Ritucci, Giuseppe Tomassetti, Giovanni Petrocelli, Massimo Francucci, Sergio Martellucci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A method for detecting cadmium uptake in leaves of Saponaria officinalis doped with a solution of cadmium acetate is described. The technique based on the exposure of dried leaves to X-rays of a wavelength close to that of the metal K-edge could be useful for phytoremediation studies as it could reveal the bioaccumulation in plants due to the treatment either in vivo or in vitro with heavy metals. X-ray microradiography measurements are in agreement with those from peroxidase enzyme assay utilized to follow the oxidative damage induced by heavy metals. At present, as we will see in this report, microradiography has still poorer sensitivity in comparison with enzyme assay, but it has the advantage of being faster, not destructive, and usable even at very high doping levels, where the enzyme assay technique results are fully saturated. Further analysis of the optical density values could lead to a quantitative measurement of the heavy metal in the sample. Thus, the technology developed in this article could be useful for tracing the intake in phytoremediation studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Cadmium
  • Leaf details
  • Microradiography
  • Phytoremediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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