Intake of radionuclides in the trees of fukushima forests 4. Binding of radioiodine to xyloglucan

Miki Nonaka, Chisato Yasukawa, Shoko Aoki, Masateru Itakura, Stefan Willför, Peter Capek, Oded Shoseyov, Masaharu Tsubokura, Kei'ichi Baba, Rumi Kaida, Teruaki Taji, Yoichi Sakata, Takahisa Hayashi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The 1,4-linked glucans such as xyloglucan and amylose are known to form a complex with iodine/iodide ions and to also be precipitated with CaCl2 in the presence of iodine. Here, we show that iodine gas could be specifically incorporated into xyloglucan. Furthermore, we show that [125I]I2 gas is, over time, incorporated at high levels into the entire outer surface of poplar seedlings but that spraying seedlings with abscisic acid to close stomata decreases the incorporation of the gas. There was less incorporation of the gas in a transgenic poplar overexpressing xyloglucanase at the early stages when compared with a wild type. This shows that xyloglucan serves as a key absorber of iodine gas into a plant body. After individual leaves of cultured seedlings were exposed to the gas for 30 min, no radioiodine was emitted from those leaves over the following two weeks, indicating that no turnover occurs in radioiodine once it is bound to the polysaccharides in plant tissues. We conclude that forest trees could serve as one of the largest enormous capture systems for the radioiodine fallout following the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number957
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 by the authors.


  • 1,4-linked glucans
  • Forest function
  • Poplar seedlings
  • Radioiodine gas
  • Xyloglucan


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