Insight into the uptake and translocation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in hydroponically grown lettuce

Wenfeng Wang, Shu Yuan, Jung Hwan Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The prevalence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in agricultural soils has raised concerns regarding the health risks associated with the consumption of PFAS-contaminated agricultural products. The present study investigated the uptake and translocation of nine PFASs in lettuce using a hydroponic setting. During the uptake experiments, long-chain PFASs (≥ C8) exhibited greater accumulations in lettuce roots, while short-chain PFASs (≤ C7) manifested preferential transport to the shoots. The average root concentration factors of PFASs were positively correlated with their log Kow values. A significantly negative relationship was found between the average translocation factors of PFASs and their molecular volume. Sorption of long-chain PFASs by lettuce roots was enhanced after heating the roots to increase the cell membrane permeability. The accumulation of perfluorododecanoic acid increased significantly in shoots of lettuce plants without roots as compared to whole lettuce plants. Results of the present study indicate that sorption to root surface tissues and efficiency in passing through the root Casparian strip are two important factors that affect the uptake and distribution of PFASs within plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85454-85464
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number56
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Hydroponics
  • PFASs
  • Plant uptake
  • Sorption
  • Translocation
  • Transport pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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