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Chemosphere. 2007 Nov;69(9):1492-8. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Removal of Prussian blue from contaminated soil in the rhizosphere of cyanogenic plants.

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  • 1School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


The fate of radiolabeled cyanide in soil was investigated during exposure to cyanogenic plant species, sorghum (Sorghum bicolor var. P721) and flax (Linum usitassimum var. Omega-Gold), in fully-contained growth chambers. Labeled cyanide was subject to microbial transformation, assimilation by plant roots, incorporation and biodegradation in plant tissue. For this study, (14)C-labeled cyanide was added to soil, and distribution of (14)C activity was assessed before plant establishment and after harvest. After 3 months of plant growth, 7% of the (14)C-labeled cyanide was converted to (14)CO(2) with sorghum and 6% with flax, compared with only 2% conversion in unplanted soil. A small amount of unaltered cyanide was shown to be accumulated by the plants (approximately 140 mg cyanide/kg plant or <0.1% of the total). Results from this experiment demonstrate the potential of cyanogenic plants for use in phytoremediation of cyanide-contaminated soil.

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