Heavy Metals and Phytoremediation
khan, zareen , doty, sharon .
Endophyte assisted phytoremediation of Trichloroethylene(TCE) by Sweet potato plants.
Trichloroethylene(TCE) is the most common environmental pollutant at many of the hazardous waste sites. TCE pollution became prevalent primarily through the use as an industrial degreasing agent. It is persistent in the environment and has toxic effects to kidney, liver and the central nervous system. Due to its widespread contamination finding innovative ways to clean this pollutant has become a priority in the remediation field. Phytoremediation, the use of plants for the restoration of environments contaminated with pollutants is a relatively new technology that is more benign than current engineering solutions to treat contaminated sites. Endophytes are microbes that live within plants. The benefits of combining endophytic bacteria with plants for increased remediation of pollutants has been successfully tried for toxic metal removal from contaminated soils. In our studies we screened several varieties of sweet potato (a hardy plant) for TCE uptake and the results show good removal rates from hydroponics and production of the early metabolite, trichloroethanol (TCEOH) by the sweet potato plants. The percentage removal was higher than wild poplar plants which makes it a potential phytoremediation plant. We are in a process of identifying the endophytic bacteria of sweet potato and determine if they help the plants either in metabolizing the pollutant or in contributing to general plant health. It is hoped that not only will plants be able to efficiently remove environmental contaminants they will also provide a source of income after the remediation project is complete, thereby making the process cost effective.
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1 - University of Washington, College of Forest Resources, Lab-215, Winkenwerder Hall, Seattle, Washington, 98195, USA
2 - University of Washington, College of Forest Resources
Presentation Type: ASPB Minisymposium
Location: Continental C/Hilton
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2007
Time: 9:45 AM