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Plants are among the most tolerant of organisms to pollution, which emphasises their utility for the emerging science of environmental biotechnology. Many botanical families, in particular the Brassicaceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae, Asteraceae, Salicaceae, Chenopodiaceae, and Careophylaceae include multiple species showing phytoremediation potential, and other families (Cyperaceae, Amaranthaceae, Cannabaceae, Cannaceae, Typhaceae and Pontederiaceae) contain promising individual species: Each species enjoys certain advantages, but suffers some limitations for application as phytoremediants. Careful selection of the appropriate family and genotype to match the particular pollutant and environment is crucial for successful phytoremediation.