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J Hazard Mater. 2013 Nov 15;262:796-804. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.09.017. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Growth, physiological response and phytoremoval capability of two willow clones exposed to ibuprofen under hydroponic culture.

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Institute of Agro-environmental and Forest Biology, CNR-National Research Council of Italy, Via Salaria Km. 29,300, 00015, Monterotondo Scalo, Roma, Italy.


Ibuprofen (IBU) is one of the most widespread pharmaceuticals in the aquatic ecosystem, despite the high removal rate that occurs in wastewater treatment plants. Phytoremediation represents a technology to improve the performance of existing wastewater treatment. This study was conducted under hydroponics to evaluate the ability of Salicaceae plants to tolerate and reduce IBU concentration in contaminated water. To this end, we combined growth, physiological and biochemical data to study the effects of different IBU concentrations on two clones of Salix alba L. Data demonstrated that clone SS5 was more tolerant and showed a higher ability to reduce IBU concentration in the solution than clone SP3. The high tolerance to IBU shown by SS5 was likely due to several mechanisms including the capacity to maintain an elevated photosynthetic activity and an efficient antioxidative defence. These results illustrate the remarkable potential of willow to phytoremediate IBU-contaminated waters in natural and constructed wetlands.


Chlorophyll fluorescence imaging; Oxidative stress; Pharmaceuticals; Photosynthesis; Phytoremediation

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