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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2000 Apr;3(2):153-62.

Phytoremediation of toxic elemental and organic pollutants.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, USA.


Phytoremediation is the use of plants to extract, sequester, and/or detoxify pollutants. Phytoremediation is widely viewed as the ecologically responsible alternative to the environmentally destructive physical remediation methods currently practiced. Plants have many endogenous genetic, biochemical, and physiological properties that make them ideal agents for soil and water remediation. Significant progress has been made in recent years in developing native or genetically modified plants for the remediation of environmental contaminants. Because elements are immutable, phytoremediation strategies for radionuclide and heavy metal pollutants focus on hyperaccumulation above-ground. In contrast, organic pollutants can potentially be completely mineralized by plants.

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