Indexed on: 18 Mar '16Published on: 11 Feb '16Published in: Pedosphere
Hyperaccumulators concentrate trace metals and heavy metals in their shoots when grown in metal-contaminated soils and these trace metal-loaded plants may be removed by harvesting the fields. Studies exploring the beneficial role of these hyperaccumulators to clean up the environment have led to the development of phytoextraction. The success of phytoextraction depends upon the high biomass of plant species and bioavailability of metals for plant uptake. The phytoavailability of metals is influenced by soil-associated factors, such as pH, redox potential, cation exchange capacity, soil type, and soil texture, and by plant-associated factors, such as root exudates and root rhizosphere processes (microorganisms). Efficiency of phytoextraction can be improved by advanced agronomic practices including soil and crop management by application of genetic engineering to enhance the metal tolerance, shoot translocation, accumulation, and sequestration and by application of chelate treatments to enhance metal bioavailability. Application of microorganisms including bacteria and mycorrhiza may facilitate the phytoextraction application at commercially large scale.