Enhancing the effectiveness of zinc, cadmium, and lead phytoextraction in polluted soils by using amendments and microorganisms.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2019 Jun; 26(17):17224-17235.ES
For remediating polluted soils, phytoextraction of metals received considerable attention in recent years, although slow removal of metals remained a major constraint in this approach. We, therefore, studied the effect of selected organic and inorganic amendments on the solubility of zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) in polluted soil and enhancing the efficacy of phytoextraction of these metals by Indian mustard (Brassica juncea cv. Pusa Vijay). For this purpose, a greenhouse experiment was conducted using a metal-polluted soil to evaluate the effect of amendments, viz. green manure (T2), EDTA (T3), sulfur (S)+S oxidizing bacteria (Thiobacillus spp.) (T4), metal-solubilizing bacteria (Pseudomonas spp.) (T5), and green manure + metal-solubilizing bacteria (T6), on solubility and bioavailability of Zn, Cd, and Pb. Distribution of metals in different soil fractions revealed that Cd content in water soluble + exchangeable fraction increased to the extent of 34.1, 523, 133, 123, and 75.8% in T2, T3, T4, T5, and T6 treatments, respectively, over control (T1). Cadmium concentrations in soil solution as extracted by Rhizon sampler were recorded as 3.78, 88.1, 11.2, 6.29, and 4.27 μg L-1in T2, T3, T4, T5, and T6, respectively, whereas soil solution concentration of Cd in T1 was 0.99 μg L-1. Activities of Cd (pCd2+) in Baker soil extract were 12.2, 10.9, 6.72, 7.74, 7.67, and 7.05 for T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, and T6, respectively. Cadmium contents in shoot were recorded as 2.74, 3.12, 4.03, 4.55, 4.68, and 4.63 mg kg-1 in T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, and T6 treatments, respectively. Similar trend in Zn and Pb content with different magnitude was also observed across the different amendments. Cadmium uptake by shoot of mustard was enhanced to the extent of 125, 62.5, 175, 175, and 212% grown on T2-, T3-, T4-, T5-, and T6-treated soil, respectively, over T1. By and large, free ion activity of metals as measured by Baker soil test proved to be the most effective index for predicting Zn, Cd, and Pb content in shoot of mustard, followed by EDTA and DTPA. Among the metal fractions, only water soluble + exchangeable metal contributed positively towards plant uptake, which explained the variation in shoot Zn, Cd, and Pb content to the extent of 74, 81, and 87%, respectively, along with other soil metal fractions. Risk to human health for intake of metals through the consumption of leafy vegetable (mustard) grown on polluted soil in terms of hazard quotient (HQ) ranged from 0.64 to 1.10 for Cd and 0.11 to 0.34 for Pb, thus rendering mustard unfit for the human consumption. Novelty of the study mainly consisted of the use of natural means and microorganisms for enhancing solubility of metals in soil with the ultimate aim of hastening the phytoremediation.