1 Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, SDU2 SDU eScience Centre, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science (IMADA), Faculty of Science, SDU3 unknown4 Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, SDU
High concentrations of cesium (Cs(+)) inhibit plant growth but the detailed mechanisms of Cs(+) uptake, transport and response in plants are not well known. In order to identify small molecules with a capacity to enhance plant tolerance to Cs(+), chemical library screening was performed using Arabidopsis. Of 10,000 chemicals tested, five compounds were confirmed as Cs(+) tolerance enhancers. Further investigation and quantum mechanical modelling revealed that one of these compounds reduced Cs(+) concentrations in plants and that the imidazole moiety of this compound bound specifically to Cs(+). Analysis of the analogous compounds indicated that the structure of the identified compound is important for the effect to be conferred. Taken together, Cs(+) tolerance enhancer isolated here renders plants tolerant to Cs(+) by inhibiting Cs(+) entry into roots via specific binding to the ion thus, for instance, providing a basis for phytostabilisation of radiocesium-contaminated farmland.