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Significance of soil microbe in microbial-assisted phytoremediation: an effective way to enhance phytoremediation of contaminated soil

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Soil contamination is an increasing global problem. Efforts are underway to minimize the release of contaminants and develop effective bioremediation strategies. Contaminated soil can be treated by phytoremediation that is dependent on the contaminant and soil properties and plant growth rate. In recent decades, soil microbes have been used successfully to enhance the capacity of plants to tolerate, remove and/or degrade contaminants. This paper reviews the principles and applications of microbe-assisted phytoremediation, including the factors that influence phytoremediation, and the mechanisms of microbial remediation. Inoculation with specific contaminant-degrading bacteria and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria is effective in enhancing phytoremediation. However, in the context of serious and complicated cases of environmental pollution exacerbated by climate change, it is critical to increase the knowledge about the mechanisms of microbe-assisted phytoremediation to underpin the selection of most appropriate phytoremediation approaches.

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The authors wish to thank all who assisted in conducting this work.


This study was supported by Chongqing Municipality Key Forestry Research Project (No. Yulinkeyan 2016-8), International Sci-Tech Cooperation Project of Ministry of Science and Technology (No. 2015DFA90900) and Forestry Extension Project of China Central Finance (No. Yulinketui 2017-12).

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Correspondence to Y. Yang.

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Yang, Y., Liu, Y., Li, Z. et al. Significance of soil microbe in microbial-assisted phytoremediation: an effective way to enhance phytoremediation of contaminated soil. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-020-02668-2

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  • Contaminants
  • Plant–microbe synergy
  • Rhizosphere
  • Soil microbes
  • Phytoremediation