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Mixotrophic acidophiles increase cadmium soluble fraction and phytoextraction efficiency from cadmium contaminated soils

Hao, Xiaodong, Zhu, Ping, Zhang, Huaizu, Liang, Yili, Yin, Huaqun, Liu, Xueduan, Bai, Lianyang, Liu, Hongwei, Jiang, Huidan
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.655 pp. 347-355
Alicyclobacillus, Clostridium, Ipomoea aquatica, bioleaching, cadmium, heavy metals, leaching, microorganisms, phytoaccumulation, plant tissues, polluted soils, salts, soil structure, spectroscopy
A profound concern in developing microbially-assisted phytoextraction is that introduced microbes not only remove heavy metals from contaminated soils but also enhance metal uptake into plant tissues from the treated soils. Cadmium (Cd) removal efficiencies were compared after leaching with deionized water (CK), acidified basal salts medium (acid control), cell-free spent medium (spent bioleaching) and mixotrophic acidophiles (two-step bioleaching). Two-step bioleaching using the mixotrophic acidophiles removed 34% of total Cd and 87% of available Cd, significantly more than CK (3% and 4%), acid control (12% and 51%) and spent bioleaching (26% and 75%). Pot experiments of water spinach growing in four treated soils were conducted to evaluate the Cd uptake performance in plants. Notably, the mixotrophic acidophiles increased Cd concentration in plant tissues by 78% compared to the CK group. More interestingly, the mixotrophic acidophiles were not colonized in soils but caused the compositional increase of indigenous microbes such as the genera of Alicyclobacillus, Clostridium sensu strict and Streptacidiphilus. Meanwhile, two-step bioleaching had little effects on soil structure and physicochemical properties determined by the spectroscopy characteristics analysis. These results implied that the mixotrophic acidophiles facilitated the development of microbially-assisted phytoextraction technology.