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Environ Sci Technol. 2002 Jun 15;36(12):2783-8.

Evidence of perchlorate (ClO4-) reduction in plant tissues (poplar tree) using radio-labeled 36ClO4-.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA.


Phytoremediation of perchlorate (ClO4) by poplar trees Populus deltoidex nigrawas investigated using small cuttings growing in hydroponic Hoagland solution and plant tissue cultures, consisting of spherical photosynthetic cell aggregates (i.e. nodules) developing in Murashige and Skoog culture medium. Both plants and nodules were grown under a 16 h/8 h photoperiod cycle and under sterile conditions. Degradation experiments, performed by the incubation of pregrown plants and nodules in the presence of 36Cl radio-labeled ClO4- (25 mg L(-1)), showed a reduction of the initial ClO4- concentration in the solution of about 50% after 30 d of incubation. Analysis of the distribution of radioactivity in different plant fractions indicated that 27.4% of the total was translocated to the leaves, while 66.9% remained in the solution. Very little radioactivity (less than 3.0%) was detected in the other parts of the plants. 32.0% of the radioactivity recovered in the solution was shown to consist of 36Cl- and 68.0% of nontransformed 36ClO4-. The radioactivity recovered in the leaf extracts was distributed as chloride (36Cl-) (1.6% of the total), chlorite (36ClO2-) (2.4%), chlorate (36ClO3-) (4.8%), nontransformed 36ClO4- (21.6%), and an unidentified organic compound (1.4%). The radioactivity recovered in the solution containing submerged nodules consisted of 36Cl- (6.4% of the total), 36ClO3- (1.3%), and nontransformed 36ClO4- (51.5%). Radioactivity detected in the nodule extracts was distributed as 36Cl- (2.0% of the total), 36ClO2- (5.2%), 36ClO3- (6.4%), 36ClO4- (22.7%), and an unidentified organic compound (0.5%). These results provide evidence of perchlorate reduction inside poplar tree tissues. 36ClO4- is partially reduced to 36ClO3-, 36ClO2-, and 36Cl-.

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