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Biotechnol Adv. 2011 Mar-Apr;29(2):248-58. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2010.12.001. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and endophytes accelerate phytoremediation of metalliferous soils.

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1
Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

Abstract

Technogenic activities (industrial-plastic, textiles, microelectronics, wood preservatives; mining-mine refuse, tailings, smelting; agrochemicals-chemical fertilizers, farm yard manure, pesticides; aerosols-pyrometallurgical and automobile exhausts; biosolids-sewage sludge, domestic waste; fly ash-coal combustion products) are the primary sources of heavy metal contamination and pollution in the environment in addition to geogenic sources. During the last two decades, bioremediation has emerged as a potential tool to clean up the metal-contaminated/polluted environment. Exclusively derived processes by plants alone (phytoremediation) are time-consuming. Further, high levels of pollutants pose toxicity to the remediating plants. This situation could be ameliorated and accelerated by exploring the partnership of plant-microbe, which would improve the plant growth by facilitating the sequestration of toxic heavy metals. Plants can bioconcentrate (phytoextraction) as well as bioimmobilize or inactivate (phytostabilization) toxic heavy metals through in situ rhizospheric processes. The mobility and bioavailability of heavy metal in the soil, particularly at the rhizosphere where root uptake or exclusion takes place, are critical factors that affect phytoextraction and phytostabilization. Developing new methods for either enhancing (phytoextraction) or reducing the bioavailability of metal contaminants in the rhizosphere (phytostabilization) as well as improving plant establishment, growth, and health could significantly speed up the process of bioremediation techniques. In this review, we have highlighted the role of plant growth promoting rhizo- and/or endophytic bacteria in accelerating phytoremediation derived benefits in extensive tables and elaborate schematic sketches.

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