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Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 2014;141:211-35. doi: 10.1007/10_2013_200.

Microbially supported phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated soils: strategies and applications.

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Institute of Microbiology-Microbial Communication, Friedrich Schiller University, Neugasse 25, 07743, Jena, Germany.


Heavy metal contamination of soil as a result of, for example, mining operations, evokes worldwide concern. The use of selected metal-accumulating plants to clean up heavy metal contaminated sites represents a sustainable and inexpensive method for remediation approaches and, at the same time, avoids destruction of soil function. Within this scenario, phytoremediation is the use of plants (directly or indirectly) to reduce the risks of contaminants in soil to the environment and human health. Microbially assisted bioremediation strategies, such as phytoextraction or phytostabilization, may increase the beneficial aspects and can be viewed as potentially useful methods for application in remediation of low and heterogeneously contaminated soil. The plant-microbe interactions in phytoremediation strategies include mutually beneficial symbiotic associations such as mycorrhiza, plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB), or endophytic bacteria that are discussed with respect to their impact on phytoremediation approaches.

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