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Mycodriven enhancement and inherent phytoremediation potential exploration of plants for lithospheric remediation

Shazia Ifthikhar, Khuram Shahzad Ahmad, Shaan Bibi Jaffri

Sydowia 70: 141-153

Published online on August 30th, 2018

This study investigated the potential of fungal cultures to increase metal accumulation in plants like Triticum aestivum, Zea mays, Solanum nigrum, Helianthus annuus and Chenopodium album cultivated in heavy metal contaminated soils. The selected plant species are primarily utilized as food, but in the present investigation they were specifically selected for their remarkable phytoremediation potential. Triticum aestivum was grown in pots containing heavy metal [i.e. lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd), chro­mium (Cr) and copper (Cu)] contaminated soil. Furthermore, Z. mays, S. nigrum, H. annuus and C. album were grown in pots with three fungal cultures (Aspergillus terreus, A. niger, A. flavus) for a period of two months to check their efficiency in accumulating the heavy metals in harvestable parts of the plants and the growth responses in roots and shoots of the plants. After 70 days, physicochemical analysis of soil was undertaken using Flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS), and heavy metals, such as Pb, Cd, Cu and Cr were investigated in plants. The biomass for average number of plants per species was calculated to estimate their potential of producing energy. Zea mays, S. nigrum, H. annuus and C. album effectively accumulated metals and the metal uptake potential was also greatly influenced by the fungal species. Aspergillus niger positively correlated with the metal uptake potential of plants. Hyperaccumulator plants used in present research can be used for preparation of biodiesel.

Keywords: Ecotoxicology, microbial ecology, mycoremediation, plant pathology, soil biotechnology.

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