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Journal of Botany
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 936950, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/936950
Research Article

Effects of Cadmium on Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Activities of Erica andevalensis

1Departamento de Biología Ambiental y Salud Pública, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, 21007 Huelva, Spain
2Centre for Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
3Departamento de Química y Ciencias de los Materiales, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, 21007 Huelva, Spain

Received 7 July 2011; Accepted 4 November 2011

Academic Editor: Philip White

Copyright © 2012 Belén Márquez-García et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

We evaluated the effects of cadmium on phenolic composition of Erica andevalensis, an endemic protected heather that grows in mine affected soils. Plants cultivated under laboratory-controlled conditions were exposed to acute doses of cadmium to investigate the mechanisms this species possesses to survive in the presence of toxic metals in its natural habitat. Cadmium increased the total levels of phenolics and flavonoids compounds, and the total antioxidant capacity. Cinnamic acid derivatives, epicatechin, and rutin were increased in the presence of cadmium when applied in levels that did not alter the ratio of chlorophylls. Phenolic compounds play an important role in the metabolism of E. andevalensis to survive in heavy metal polluted soils.