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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014;21(11):6836-44. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-2156-1. Epub 2013 Sep 21.

The role of bacterial consortium and organic amendment in Cu and Fe isotope fractionation in plants on a polluted mine site.

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Division of Geosciences and Environmental Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 97187, Luleå, Sweden,


Copper and iron isotope fractionation by plant uptake and translocation is a matter of current research. As a way to apply the use of Cu and Fe stable isotopes in the phytoremediation of contaminated sites, the effects of organic amendment and microbial addition in a mine-spoiled soil seeded with Helianthus annuus in pot experiments and field trials were studied. Results show that the addition of a microbial consortium of ten bacterial strains has an influence on Cu and Fe isotope fractionation by the uptake and translocation in pot experiments, with an increase in average of 0.99 ‰ for the δ(65)Cu values from soil to roots. In the field trial, the amendment with the addition of bacteria and mycorrhiza as single and double inoculation enriches the leaves in (65)Cu compared to the soil. As a result of the same trial, the δ(56)Fe values in the leaves are lower than those from the bulk soil, although some differences are seen according to the amendment used. Siderophores, possibly released by the bacterial consortium, can be responsible for this change in the Cu and Fe fractionation. The overall isotopic fractionation trend for Cu and Fe does not vary for pot and field experiments with or without bacteria. However, variations in specific metabolic pathways related to metal-organic complexation and weathering can modify particular isotopic signatures.

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