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Induced accumulation of Au, Ag and Cu in Brassica napus grown in a mine tailings with the inoculation of Aspergillus niger and the application of two chemical compounds

González-Valdez, Eduardo, Alarcón, Alejandro, Ferrera-Cerrato, Ronald, Vega-Carrillo, Héctor René, Maldonado-Vega, María, Salas-Luévano, Miguel Ángel, Argumedo-Delira, Rosalba
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2018 v.154 pp. 180-186
Aspergillus niger, Brassica napus, ammonium, ammonium thiocyanate, ammonium thiosulfate, copper, gold, hyperaccumulators, leaves, mine tailings, phytomass, plant organs, roots, silver, stems
This study evaluated the ability of Brassica napus for extracting gold (Au), silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) from a mine tailings, with the inoculation of two Aspergillus niger strains, and the application of ammonium thiocyanate (NH4SCN) or ammonium thiosulfate [(NH4)2S2O3]. After seven weeks of growth inoculated or non-inoculated plants were applied with 1 or 2 g kg⁻¹ of either NH4SCN or (NH4)2S2O3, respectively. Eight days after the application of the chemical compounds, plants were harvested for determining the total dry biomass, and the content of Au, Ag, and Cu in plant organs. Application of (NH4)2S2O3 or NH4SCN resulted in enhanced Au-accumulation in stems (447% and 507%, respectively), while either (NH4)2S2O3+Aspergillus, or NH4SCN increased the Au-accumulation in roots (198.5% and 404%, respectively) when compared to the control. Treatments with (NH4)2S2O3 or (NH4)2S2O3+Aspergillus significantly increased (P ≤ 0.001) the accumulation of Ag in leaves (677% and 1376%, respectively), while NH4SCN + Aspergillus, and (NH4)2S2O3 enhanced the accumulation in stems (7153% and 6717.5%). The Ag-accumulation in roots was stimulated by NH4SCN+ Aspergillus, and (NH4)2S2O3+ Aspergillus (132.5% and 178%, respectively), when compared to the control. The combination of NH4SCN+Aspergillus significantly enhanced the Cu-accumulation in leaves (228%); whereas NH4SCN+ Aspergillus, or (NH4)2S2O3+ Aspergillus resulted in greater accumulation of Cu in stems (1233.5% and 1580%, respectively) than the control. Results suggest that either NH4SCN or (NH4)2S2O3 (with or without Aspergillus) improved the accumulation of Au and Ag by B. napus. Accumulation of Au and Ag in plant organs overpassed the hyperaccumulation criterion (> 1 mg kg⁻¹ of plant biomass); whereas Cu-accumulation in stems and roots also overpassed such criterion (> 1000 mg kg⁻¹) by applying either NH4SCN or (NH4)2S2O3 + A. niger.