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Phytoremediation of Organic Matters: the plant-microbe interactions

Ellen Jun Liu BESC 489 4/1/2013

Background Phytoremediation Factors affecting the performance of phytoremediation Example of rhizodegradation

Potential for rhizodegradation


Large scale use of toxic chemicals Pesticides PCBs Petroleum chemicals (PAHs, BTEX) Explosives (TNT) Dyes and pigments Expensive decontamination methods

Alternative approach - phytoremediation

The use of plants and associated microbes to clean up polluted sites Phytoextraction Phytodegradation Phytovolatilization Rhizodegradation

Rhizosphere Microbe-rich Complex interactions Plant exudates
Contaminants Plants


Benefits Control plant stress Protect plant Degrade contaminants

Factors that influence Phytoremediation

The most important factor Soil-bound and insoluble compounds Measure hydrophobicity: log Kow ~ 1.8

Chaudhry, 2005

Factors (cont.)
Plant-microbial interactions
Co-metabolism Transformation of organic compounds Root exudates provide energy

Microbial composition
Diverse and synergistic Gram-negative

Kenerley, 2013 Stress Moderate stress can invoke specific mechanisms

Factors (cont.)
Root exudation
Growth substrate Enzyme inducer

Yoshitomi, 2001

Example of rhizodegradation of organic pollutants



PAH ubiquitous pollutants rhizodegradation is the primary mechanism for removal Mangrove K. candel long roots tied to industrial activities

Example (cont.)
Result 1 Decreased concentration Rhizosphere > compartment > far-rhizosphere Removal percentage of Ph and Py

Lu, 2011

Example (cont.)
Result 2 Soil microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) higher in planted soil Largest Cmic concentration in the rhizospehre (S1)

Lu, 2011

Potential to enhance degradation level

Increase indigenous microbial activity

Introduction of pollutant degrader



Abhilash PC, Jamil S, Singh N. Transgenic plants for enhanced biodegradation and phytoremediation of organic xenobiotics. Biotechnology Advances 27. 2009. 474-488 Chaudhry Q, Zandstra MB, Gupta S, Joner EJ. Utilising the synergy between plants and rhizosphere microorganisms to enhance breakdown of organic pollutants in the environment. Environ Sci & Pollut Res. 2005. 12(1). 34-48 Lu HL, Zhang Y, Liu BB, Ye, J, Y CL. Rhizodegradation gradients of phenanthrene and pyrene in sediment of mangrove. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2011. 196. 263-269 Kuiper I, Lagendijk EL, Bloemberg GV, Lugtenberg BJJ. Rhizoremediation: a beneficial plant microbe interaction. Mol Plant Microbes Interact 2004.17:6-15 Pyrene. Singh OV, Jain RK. Phytoremediation of toxic aromatic pollutants from soil. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2003. 63: 128-13 Siciliano SD, Germida JJ, Banks K, Greer CW. Changes in microbial community composition and function during a polyaromatic hydrocarbon phytoremediation field trial. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2003. 69. 483-89 Yoshitomi, JK, Shann JR. Corn root exudates and their impact on 14C-pyrene mineralization