Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 618–634 | Cite as

Metal hyperaccumulation and bioremediation

  • K. ShahEmail author
  • J. M. Nongkynrih


The phytoremediation is an environment friendly, green technology that is cost effective and energetically inexpensive. Metal hyperaccumulator plants are used to remove metal from terrestrial as well as aquatic ecosystems. The technique makes use of the intrinsic capacity of plants to accumulate metal and transport them to shoots, ability to form phytochelatins in roots and sequester the metal ions. Harbouring the genes that are considered as signatures for the tolerance and hyperaccumulation from identified hyperaccumulator plant species into the transgenic plants provide a platform to develop the technology with the help of genetic engineering. This would result in transgenics that may have large biomass and fast growth a quality essential for removal of metal from soil quickly and in large quantities. Despite so much of a potential, the progress in the field of developing transgenic phytoremediator plant species is rather slow. This can be attributed to the lack of our understanding of complex interactions in the soil and indigenous mechanisms in the plants that allow metal translocation, accumulation and removal from a site. The review focuses on the work carried out in the field of metal phytoremediation from contaminated soil. The paper concludes with an assessment of the current status of technology development and its future prospects with emphasis on a combinatorial approach.

Additional key words

chaperones phytoextraction phytofiltration phytomining phytostabilization phytovolitization transporter 


ACC deaminase



dry mass


ethylenediamine-tetraacetic acid






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© Institute of Experimental Botany, ASCR 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyMahila Mahavidyalaya, Banaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryNorth Eastern Hill UniversityShillongIndia

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