Efficient phytoremediation of uranium mine tailings by tobacco
- 595 Downloads
This investigation shows that tobacco plant roots and leaves accumulate 60 times more uranium than previously reported. Phytoremediation is a convenient technique to clean up polluted soils using herbaceous plants and trees. Increasing research aims to identify novel plant species that accumulate toxic metals. Tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum L.) is a promising cultivar for phytoremediation because tobacco is fast growing and easily propagated. Here, we study phytoremediation of uranium by two tobacco varieties Virginia and Burley, bred in natural conditions. Plants were grown on uranium mine tailings with an average uranium content of 15.3 mg kg−1. Each shoot sample was cross-sectioned into five uniform groups of leaves and stem segments. Results show a substantial variance in uranium uptake according to the section elderliness and origin of the plant parts. The highest concentrations of uranium values recorded in leaves of Burleys and Virginias nearest root shoot sections were 4.18 and 3.50 mg kg−1, respectively. These values are 60 times higher rates than those previously published for leaves of cultivars grown under similar conditions. Taking into account the level of soil contamination, the content of accumulated uranium demonstrates uranium hyperaccumulatory properties of tobacco plant and its potential utilization in phytoremediation of uranium-contaminated mediums.
KeywordsUranium Uptake Tobacco plant Varieties Hyperaccumulators Phytoremediation
This study is a part of the project TR31003 supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia.
- Ebbs SD, Brady DJ, Kochian LV (1998) Role of U speciation in the uptake and the translocation of uranium by plants. J Exp Bot 49:1183–1190Google Scholar
- Riley RJ, Zachara JM, Wobber FJ (1992) Chemical contaminants on DOE lands and selection of contaminant mixtures for subsurface science research. DOE/ER-0547T. DOE Office of Energy Research ReportGoogle Scholar
- Shacklette HT, Boerngen JG (1984) Element concentrations in soils and other surficial materials of the conterminous United States. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1270:1–105Google Scholar
- Stojanović MD, Milojković JV (2011) Phytoremediation of uranium contaminated soils. In: Golubev Ivan (ed) Handbook of phytoremediation. Nova Science Publishers Inc., New York, pp 93–136Google Scholar
- Stojanović MD, Stevanović D, Ileš D, Grubišić M, Milojković JV (2009) The effect of the uranium content in the tailings on some cultivated plants. Water Air Soil Pollut 200:101–108Google Scholar
- Tsotsolis N, Lazardiou T, Matsi T, Bargiacchi E, Miele S, Barbayiannis N et al (2002) Growth and heavy metals content of different tobacco types cultivated in Greece and in Italy. In: CORESTA congress, agronomy and phytopathology study groups. New Orleans, LouisianaGoogle Scholar
- United Nations (2010) Sources and effects of ionizing radiation, UNSCEAR 2008. In: Report to the general assembly with scientific annexes, vol 1. Available via: http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/2008/09-86753_Report_2008_Annex_A.pdf