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in ferns: a review
The Chinese Ladder fern Pteris vittata, also known as the brake fern, is a highly efficient accumulator of arsenic. P. vittata grows rapidly and can absorb up to 2% of its weight in arsenic. It can extract arsenic from soil even where the level is low, for example 6 ppm, which is normal for many soils. When it grown on soil with 100 ppm not only did it absorb more arsenic, but it grew 40% larger than normal.
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Genetically Alter Plants Hoping They'll Vacuum Up Toxins
October 15, 2007 — By Julie Steenhuysen, Reuter
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Scientists hope they've figured out a way to trick plants into doing the dirty work of environmental cleanup, U.S. and British researchers said on Monday. "Our work is in the beginning stages, but it holds great promise," said Sharon Doty, an assistant professor of forest resources at the University of Washington, whose study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences....
[ link to complete article ]
novel approaches to cleaning up polluted soils
Ute Krämer - from Current Opinions in Biotechnology, 16:133-141 (2005) .
Environmental pollution with metals and xenobiotics is a global problem, and the development of phytoremediation technologies for the plant-based clean-up of contaminated soils is therefore of significant interest. Phytoremediation technologies are currently available for only a small subset of pollution problems, such as arsenic. Arsenic removal employs naturally selected hyperaccumulator ferns, which accumulate very high concentrations of arsenic specifically in aboveground tissues. Elegant two-gene transgenic approaches have been designed for the development of mercury or arsenic phytoremediation technologies. In a plant that naturally hyperaccumulates zinc in leaves, approximately ten key metal homeostasis genes are expressed at very high levels. This outlines the extent of change in gene activities needed in the engineering of transgenic plants for soil clean-up. Further analysis and discovery of genes for phytoremediation will benefit from the recent development of segregating populations for a genetic analysis of naturally selected metal hyperaccumulation in plants, and from comprehensive ionomics data – multi-element concentration profiles from a large number of Arabidopsis mutants.
Above: Chemical reactions in transgenic phytoremediation:
(a) detoxification and volatilization of organomercurials.
(b) Arsenate detoxification and immobilization.
(c) Selenite detoxification.
AdoMet, S-adenosylmethionine; GSH, glutathione (reduced); GS-SG, oxidized glutathione; Me, methyl; SMM, S-methylmethionine.
Citizen's Guide to Phytoremediation [ pdf file, 88 kb ]
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Technology Innovation Office.
"Growing and, in some cases, harvesting plants on a contaminated site as a remediation method is an aesthetically pleasing, solar-energy driven, passive technique that can be used to clean up sites with shallow, low to moderate levels of contamination. This technique can be used along with or, in some cases, in place of mechanical cleanup methods."
USEPA, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (5102G), EPA 542-F-98-011, August 1998
|Phytoremediation and Indoor Air
Quality: Plants Clean the Air
houseplants and blooming potted plants help fight
pollution indoors. They're reportedly able to scrub
significant amounts of harmful gases out of the air,
through the everyday processes of photosynthesis...
"Our space program has led the way to a fascinating and important discovery about the role of houseplants indoors. NASA has been researching methods of cleansing the atmosphere in future space stations to keep them fit for human habitation over extended periods of time..."
15 houseplants for improving indoor
|Human Consequences of Toxin Exposure
The Elements of Murder
A History of Poison, by John Emsley.
This book describes the human consequenses of exposure to a few of the most infamous elemental toxins. It is a well-researched overview with many unfortunate historical examples of mass and individual poisonings. Mr. Emsley focuses on mercury, arsenic, antimony, lead, and thallium, all of which are targets of phytoremediation efforts. In addition to poisonings and toxicology, the author discusses the natural occurrence of these elements and how human activities contribute to their distribution in the environment.
|Biotecnologia en la Disoluciony Recuperacion
Biól. José J. Guerrero Rojas, Los Rhododendrons Nº 246 - Urb. VIPOL- Correo Vipol - Callao 03 - Peru.
|Les plantes pour l'extraction des
métaux lourds dans les sols
A review in Portuguese formerly was posted here, but the link has disappeared. If you know of reviews in other languages, please let me know so I can add them.
a glossary of terms related to bioremediation
(biological treatment) and phytoremediation
(remediation using green plants) of environmental
pollutants. Links to other environmental
glossaries are at the bottom of the page."
Bibliographies on Phytoremediation
Last update: September 20, 2012