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Using kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) as a phytoremediation plant species for lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) removal in saline soils

Haghighi, Maryam, Kafi, Mohsen, Pessarakli, Mohammad, Sheibanirad, Atena, Sharifinia, Mohammad Reza
Journal of plant nutrition 2016 v.39 no.10 pp. 1460-1471
Brassica oleracea var. sabellica, autumn, cadmium, developmental stages, germination, kale, landscapes, lead, phytoremediation, planting, proline, saline soils, salinity, salt stress, sodium chloride, urban areas, vegetative growth, winter
Ornamental kale (Brassica oleracea var. Acephala) is usually planted from early autumn until late winter. Since most of the plants used for phytoremediation cannot be grown during this time, kale can be a suitable option for phytoremediation and utilized during autumn and winter in urban landscape, especially in metropolitan areas where high levels of cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) pollutions exist. Kale growth in saline soil at different growth stages (germination and vegetative growth stages) was studied in this investigation. A factorial experiment based on completely randomized design (CRD) with four replications was used in this study. Treatments included three levels of sodium chloride (NaCl) (0, 30, and 60 mg/kg), four levels of Cd (0, 4, 8, and 16 mg/kg), and four levels of Pb (0, 1, 5, and 10 mg/kg). Results indicated that increase in Cd and Pb concentrations in the soil decreased fresh and dry weights of the plants. The results of the various growth stages revealed that under salinity stress, kale plants were able to absorb more Pb than Cd and effectively remediate Pb in polluted and saline lands. Cd accumulation in control treatment was 6.2% more than that in the saline treatments, whereas, Pb accumulation in the highest NaCl level, 60 mg/kg salinity treatment was 7.64% more than that of the control condition. Also, proline content of the plants was significantly increased under Cd and Pb stress. From the results of this study, it was concluded that using kale plant is recommended for phytoremediation of saline soils with 10 and 16 mg/kg Pb and Cd contents, respectively.