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Int J Phytoremediation. 2011 Mar;13(3):215-32.

Effects of amendments on copper, cadmium, and lead phytoextraction by Lolium perenne from multiple-metal contaminated solution.

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  • 1Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Chemical amendments can increase metal uptake by plant roots and translocation to shoots, however their effectiveness can be influenced by the presence of other amendments and metal ions in a multiple-metal environment. A range of amendments and combinations were tested to explore their effect on phytoextraction of Cu, Cd, and Pb by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) from solutions containing one or more of these metals. The amendments studied included EDDS (an aminopolycarboxylic acid), histidine (an amino acid), citric acid (an organic acid), rhamnolipid (a biosurfactant) and sulfate (an inorganic ligand). For all amendment treatments, the presence of multiple metals in solution reduced shoot concentrations of Cd and Cu, while Pb levels in shoots were generally enhanced by the presence of Cu. Although slightly toxic to the plants, EDDS (1 mM) was the most effective individual amendment for enhancing shoot metal uptake and translocation from solution without significantly reducing biomass yield. The combination Rhm+Cit+EDDS resulted in the highest shoot metal concentrations of all the treatments but also caused severe phytotoxicity. Amendment combinations Rhm+His and Sulf+Cit were less toxic for plant growth while moderately enhancing metal mass accumulation in shoots and thus could be considered as alternative treatments for enhanced phytoextraction.

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