Plant and rhizosphere processes involved in phytoremediation of metal-contaminated soils

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

McGrath, S. P., Zhao, F-J. and Lombi, E. 2001. Plant and rhizosphere processes involved in phytoremediation of metal-contaminated soils. Plant and Soil. 232 (1-2), pp. 207-214.

AuthorsMcGrath, S. P., Zhao, F-J. and Lombi, E.

This paper reviews the recent advances in understanding of metal removal from contaminated soils, using either hyperaccumulator plants, or high biomass crop species after soil treatment with chelating compounds. Progress has been made at the physiology and molecular level regarding Zn and Ni uptake and translocation in some hyperaccumulators. It is also known that natural hyperaccumulators do not use rhizosphere acidification to enhance their metal uptake. Recently, it has been found that some natural hyperaccumulators proliferate their roots positively in patches of high metal availability. In contrast, non-accumulators actively avoid these areas, and this is one of the mechanisms by which hyperaccumulators absorb more metals when grown in the same soil. However, there are few studies on the exudation and persistence of natural chelating compounds by these plants. It is thought that rhizosphere microorganisms are not important for the hyperaccumulation of metals from soil. Applications of chelates have been shown to induce large accumulations of metals like Pb, U and Au in the shoots of non-hyperaccumulators, by increasing metal solubility and root to shoot translocation. The efficiency of metal uptake does vary with soil properties, and a full understanding of the relative importance of mass flow and diffusion in the presence and absence of artificial chelates is not available. To successfully manipulate and optimise future phytoextraction technologies, it is argued that a fully combined understanding of soil supply and plant uptake is needed.

KeywordsCadmium; Brassicas; Hyperaccumulators; Nickle; Rhizosphere; Zinc
Year of Publication2001
JournalPlant and Soil
Journal citation232 (1-2), pp. 207-214
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as green open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or code443
Heavy metal uptake by plants
Remidiation of metal contaminated soils by plants (PHYTOREM)
Soil protection and remediation by chemical and biological approaches
Publisher's version
Copyright license
Publisher copyright
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 May 2001

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