Integration of earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi into phytoremediation of cadmium-contaminated soil by Solanum nigrum L.J Hazard Mater. 2020 05 05; 389:121873.JH
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and earthworms independently enhance plant growth, heavy metal (HM) tolerance, and HM uptake, thus they are potential key factors in phytoremediation. However, few studies have investigated their interactions in HM phytoextraction by hyperaccumulators. This study highlights the independent and interactive effects of earthworms and AMF on Solanum nigrum. Plants inoculated with either AMF or earthworms exhibited ameliorated growth via enhancement of productivity, metal tolerance, and phosphorus (P) acquisition. Co-inoculation with both had more pronounced effects on plant biomass and P acquisition in shoots, but not in roots, and in Cd-polluted soils it significantly promoted (P < 0.05) shoot biomass (20.7-134.6 %) and P content (20.4-112.0 %). AMF and earthworms increased Cd accumulation in plant tissues, but only AMF affected Cd partitioning between shoots and roots. Although AMF decreased root-to-shoot translocation of Cd at high Cd levels, this was counterbalanced by earthworms. Both AMF and its combination with earthworms enhanced Cd phytoavailability by altering Cd chemical fractions and decreasing pH. Co-inoculation increased Cd removal amounts up to 149.3 % in 120 mg kg-1 Cd-spiked soils. Interactions between the two organisms were synergistic in Cd phytoextraction. Thus, earthworm-AMF-plant symbiosis potentially plays an essential role in phytoremediation of HM-polluted soils.