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Effect of Vicia faba L. var. minor and Sulla coronaria (L.) Medik associated with plant growth-promoting bacteria on lettuce cropping system and heavy metal phytoremediation under field conditions

Saadani, Omar, Jebara, Salwa Harzalli, Fatnassi, Imen Challougui, Chiboub, Manel, Mannai, Khediri, Zarrad, Imen, Jebara, Moez
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.8 pp. 8125-8135
Hedysarum coronarium, Lactuca sativa, Vicia faba, agricultural soils, animal and human health, biomass production, cadmium, crop rotation, crop yield, food chain, green manures, heavy metals, inoculum, legumes, lettuce, metal tolerance, nitrogen, organic matter, phosphorus content, phytoremediation, plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria, soil fertility, zinc
Researches involving the use of association between legumes and PGPBs (plant growth-promoting bacteria) in heavy metal phytoremediation process were mainly performed for soils highly contaminated. However, even in agriculture soils, with moderate or low contamination levels, plants can accumulate high rates of heavy metals. So, food chain contamination by these metals presents a real threat to animal and human health. This work aimed to evaluate the use of two legumes/PGPB symbioses; Vicia faba var. minor and Sulla coronaria have been inoculated with specific heavy metal-resistant inocula in a crop rotation system with Lactuca sativa as a following crop, in order to assess their effects on soil fertility, lettuce yield, and heavy metal content. Our results showed that legume inoculation significantly enhanced their biomass production, nitrogen and phosphorus content. The use of our symbioses as green manure before lettuce cultivation, as a rotation cropping system, affected positively soil fertility. In fact, we recorded a higher organic matter content, with rapid decomposition in the soil of inoculated plots. Besides, results demonstrated a greater nitrogen and phosphorus content in this soil, especially in the plot cultivated with inoculated V. faba var. minor. The improvement of soil fertility enhanced lettuce yield and its nitrogen and phosphorus content. Moreover, inoculated legumes extracted and accumulated more heavy metals than non-inoculated legumes. Our symbioses play the role of organic trap for heavy metals, making them unavailable for following crops. These facts were supported by lettuce heavy metal content, showing a significant decrease in metal accumulation, mainly zinc and cadmium, in edible parts. Results showed the usefulness of the studied symbioses, as a main part of a rotation system with lettuce. Our symbioses can be suggested for agriculture soil phytoremediation, aiming to enhance non-legume crop yield and limit heavy metal translocation to food chain.