Tolerance and phytoaccumulation of Chromium by three Azolla species
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Azolla, an aquatic fern is ideal candidate for exploitation in constructed wetlands for treating metal-contaminated wastewaters. This study demonstrates the potential of Azolla spp. namely A. microphylla, A. pinnata and A.␣filiculoides to tolerate Cr ions in the growth environment and bioconcentrate them. These species could grow in presence of up to 10 μg ml−1 Cr and showed biomass production 30–70% as compared to controls. Nitrogenase activity was not affected at 1–5 μg ml−1 but at higher concentrations it diminished. There was no growth at higher concentrations of chromium. However, the necrosed biomass harvested from treatments containing higher concentrations of chromium, accumulated Cr to the levels 5000–15,000 μg g−1. At increased levels of Cr, the metal was accumulated in higher amount in dry biomass. Bioconcentration Factor (BCF) ranged between 243 and 4617 for the three species. A. microphylla showed highest bioconcentration potential. Thus, these Azolla spp. can be exploited for treatment of tannery and other Cr contaminated wastewaters.
Key words:Azolla species bioremediation chromium heavy metal phytosorption wastewaters
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