Cadmium (Cd) pollution around the world is a serious issue demanding acceptable solutions, one of which is phytoremediation that is both cost-effective and eco-friendly. Removal of Cd from contaminated water using plants with high growth rates and sufficient Cd accumulation abilities
could be an appropriate choice. Here, we investigated a potential Cd accumulator, Wolffia, a rootless duckweed with high growth rate. Cd uptake, accumulation, tolerance, and phytofiltration ability by WOLFFIA GLOBOSA were examined. Furthermore, the effects of arsenic (As) on
Cd uptake and phytofiltration by W. globosa were also studied. Cd uptake kinetics showed a linear pattern and a hyperbolic pattern without a plateau in lower (0–2 μM) and higher (0–200 μM) Cd concentration ranges, respectively, suggesting rapid Cd uptake
by W. globosa. Cd accumulation ability by W. globosa was higher at Cd concentrations < 10 μM than at >10 μM. All the five species of Wolffia exposed to 1 μM Cd for 5 days accumulated > 500 mg Cd kg−1 DW. Ten gram
fresh W. globosa could diminish almost all the Cd (2 μM) in a 200 mL solution. This enormous accumulation ability was mostly due to passive adsorption of Cd by the apoplast. Arsenic had no significant effect on Cd uptake and phytofiltration. The fresh fronds also showed
a great As extracting ability. The results indicated that Wolffia is a strong Cd accumulator and has great Cd phytoremediation potential. Therefore, this plant can be used in fresh aquatic environments co-contaminated by low-levels of Cd and As.
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