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Phytoremediation effect of Medicago sativa colonized by Piriformospora indica in the phenanthrene and cadmium co-contaminated soil

Li, Liang, Zhu, Pengyue, Wang, Xiaoyang, Zhang, Zhenhua
BMC biotechnology 2020 v.20 no.1 pp. 20
Medicago sativa, Piriformospora indica, bioavailability, cadmium, chemical speciation, chlorophyll, electron transfer, environmental quality, fluorescein diacetate, heavy metals, phenanthrenes, photochemistry, photosystem II, phytoremediation, plant growth, polluted soils, rhizosphere, roots, soil remediation
BACKGROUND: The coexistence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals has deleterious effects on environmental quality. Few reports have studied the mechanisms of plant inoculation with Piriformospora indica to remediate PAH-metal co-contaminated soil by analyzing the chemical speciation of the contaminants. This study investigated the influence of the inoculation of Medicago sativa with P. indica to remediate soil co-contaminated with phenanthrene (a kind of PAH) and cadmium (a heavy metal) by analyzing plant growth, physiological parameters and chemical speciation in rhizosphere and nonrhizosphere soils. RESULTS: The presence of P. indica significantly increased plant tolerance, chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, maximum quantum efficiency of PSII photochemistry and electron transport rate values in phenanthrene- and/or cadmium-contaminated soil. P. indica inoculation in M. sativa roots increased fluorescein diacetate activities in soils contaminated with phenanthrene, cadmium or both, especially in the nonrhizosphere. The presence of phenanthrene prevented the inoculated plant from accumulating cadmium to some extent, whereas the presence of cadmium did not prevent the degradation of phenanthrene in either the rhizosphere or the nonrhizosphere after P. indica colonization. Although the low bioavailability of cadmium in the rhizosphere restricted its transportation into the stem, P. indica colonization in plants effectively increased cadmium accumulation in roots in soil co-contaminated with cadmium and phenanthrene. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, this work provides a theoretical basis for the use of P. indica combined with M. sativa for the remediation of PAH-metal co-contaminated soil.