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Mineralogy and Zn Chemical Speciation in a Soil-Plant System from a Metal-Extreme Environment: A Study on Helichrysum microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum (Campo Pisano Mine, SW Sardinia, Italy)

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Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato-Blocco A S.S. 554 bivio per Sestu, 09042 Monserrato (CA), Italy
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Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Centre for the Conservation of Biodiversity (CCB), University of Cagliari, Viale Sant’Ignazio da Laconi 11-13, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
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Sardinian Germplasm Bank-Hortus Botanicus Karalitanus, University of Cagliari, Viale Sant’Ignazio da Laconi 9-11, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
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Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste, Strada Statale 14-km 163,5 in AREA Science Park, 34149 Basovizza, Trieste, Italy
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari, Piazza d’Armi 1, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
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Unità Operativa di Supporto (UOS) of Cagliari, National Research Council, Institute of Translational Pharmacology, Scientific and Technological Park of Sardinia POLARIS, 09010 Pula, Italy
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Department of Sciences, University of Roma Tre, Via della Vasca Navale 84, 00146 Rome, Italy
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Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, Via G. La Pira 4, 50121 Florence, Italy
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CNR-Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources, Via G. La Pira, 4, 50121 Florence, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(3), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030259
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 8 March 2020 / Published: 12 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry)
Environmental contamination due to human activities is a worldwide problem that has led to the development of different remediation techniques, including biotechnological approaches such as phytoextraction and phytostabilization. These techniques take advantage of pioneer plants that naturally develop tolerance mechanisms to survive in extreme environments. A multi-technique and multi-disciplinary approach was applied for the investigation of Helichrysum microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum samples, bulk soil, and rhizospheres collected from a metal-extreme environment (Zn-Pb mine of Campo Pisano, SW Sardinia, Italy). Zinc, Pb, and Cd are the most abundant metals, with Zn attaining 3 w/w% in the rhizosphere solid materials, inducing oxidative stress in the roots as revealed by infrared microspectroscopy (IR). X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and chemical analysis coupled with synchrotron radiation-based (SR) techniques demonstrate that quartz, dolomite, and weddellite biominerals precipitate in roots, stems, and leaves, likely as a response to environmental stress. In the rhizosphere, Zn chemical speciation is mainly related to the Zn ore minerals (smithsonite and hydrozincite) whereas, in plant tissues, Zn is primarily bound to organic compounds such as malate, cysteine, and histidine molecules that act as metal binders and, eventually, detoxification agents for the Zn excess. These findings suggest that H. microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum has developed its own adaptation strategy to survive in polluted substrates, making it a potential candidate for phytostabilization aimed at mitigating the dispersion of metals in the surrounding areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: Asteraceae; pioneer plant species; geo-bio interactions; biomineralization; rhizosphere; synchrotron radiation-based techniques; Zn chemical speciation Asteraceae; pioneer plant species; geo-bio interactions; biomineralization; rhizosphere; synchrotron radiation-based techniques; Zn chemical speciation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Boi, M.E.; Medas, D.; Aquilanti, G.; Bacchetta, G.; Birarda, G.; Cappai, G.; Carlomagno, I.; Casu, M.A.; Gianoncelli, A.; Meneghini, C.; Piredda, M.; Podda, F.; Porceddu, M.; Rimondi, V.; Vaccari, L.; De Giudici, G. Mineralogy and Zn Chemical Speciation in a Soil-Plant System from a Metal-Extreme Environment: A Study on Helichrysum microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum (Campo Pisano Mine, SW Sardinia, Italy). Minerals 2020, 10, 259. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030259

AMA Style

Boi ME, Medas D, Aquilanti G, Bacchetta G, Birarda G, Cappai G, Carlomagno I, Casu MA, Gianoncelli A, Meneghini C, Piredda M, Podda F, Porceddu M, Rimondi V, Vaccari L, De Giudici G. Mineralogy and Zn Chemical Speciation in a Soil-Plant System from a Metal-Extreme Environment: A Study on Helichrysum microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum (Campo Pisano Mine, SW Sardinia, Italy). Minerals. 2020; 10(3):259. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030259

Chicago/Turabian Style

Boi, Maria E.; Medas, Daniela; Aquilanti, Giuliana; Bacchetta, Gianluigi; Birarda, Giovanni; Cappai, Giovanna; Carlomagno, Ilaria; Casu, Maria A.; Gianoncelli, Alessandra; Meneghini, Carlo; Piredda, Martina; Podda, Francesca; Porceddu, Marco; Rimondi, Valentina; Vaccari, Lisa; De Giudici, Giovanni. 2020. "Mineralogy and Zn Chemical Speciation in a Soil-Plant System from a Metal-Extreme Environment: A Study on Helichrysum microphyllum subsp. tyrrhenicum (Campo Pisano Mine, SW Sardinia, Italy)" Minerals 10, no. 3: 259. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10030259

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