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Effectiveness of Applying Arsenate Reducing Bacteria to Enhance Arsenic Removal From Polluted Soils by Pteris Vittata L.

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Arsenic is a common contaminant in soils and water. It is well established that the fern Pteris Vittata L. is an As hyperaccumulator and therefore has potential to phyroremediate As-polluted soils. Also, it is accepted that rhizosphere microflora play an enhancing role in plant uptake of metallic elements from soils. Studies showed that hydroponiclly grown P. Vittata accumulated arsenite more than the arsenate form of As apparently because arsenate and phosphate are analogues and therefore its absorption is inhibited by phosphate. The objective of this study was to determine whether addition of five different arsenate-reducing bacteria would enhance arsenic uptake by P. Vittata grown in arsenic polluted soils in a field experiment. Results showed that addition of the As reducing bacteria promoted the growth of P. Vittata, increased As accumulation, activated soil insoluble As, and reduced As leaching compared to the untreated control. Plant biomass increased by 53% and As uptake by 44%. As leaching was reduced by 29% to 71% depending on the As reducing bacterium. The results in their entirety permitted some insight into the mechanisms by which the arsenate reducing bacteria enhanced the effectiveness of P. Vittata to remove As from the polluted soil.
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Keywords: arsenic leaching; phytoremediation; soil metal uptake; soil microbial biomass; soil remediation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Environmental Sciences,Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China 2: Center for Environmental Remediation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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