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Disposal of Metal Treated Salvinia Biomass in Soil and its Effect on Growth and Photosynthetic Efficiency of Wheat

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Phytoremediation technologies generate huge quantities of biomass, the disposal of which is a serious concern. Wastewater samples collected from electroplating industries were treated with Salvinia biomass. The effect of application of metal loaded Salvinia plant biomass in soil on growth and physiological indices of 10-day-old seedlings of Triticum aestivum was evaluated. Controls (A) consisted of soil supplemented with untreated plant biomass. Seed germination, seedling height, total chlorophyll, glucose and protein levels, photosynthetic efficiency (Fv/Fm), photochemical quenching (qP), non-photochemical quenching (qn), quantum yield (Y), and electron transport rate (ETR) were not significantly affected in seedlings raised in soils supplemented with metal loaded biomass from most of the samples (B–F) in comparison to control. However, significant decline was noted in total chlorophyll, glucose, and quantum yield in plants grown in soil supplemented with biomass from sample E. Among elemental levels, C(%) remained largely unaffected, N(%) showed slight enhancement but a decrease in H(%) was noted in plants grown in soil supplemented with biomass from sample E. Our results, therefore, suggest that metal accumulated Salvinia biomass obtained after phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated wastewater can be supplemented in soil. Further studies are required to assess long-term effects of disposal of metal loaded Salvinia plant biomass in soil.
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Keywords: Salvinia natans; chlorophyll; heavy metals; photosynthetic potential; phytoremediation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Genetics,University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi, India

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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