Editorial Board Members’ Collection Series: Phytoremediation of Soil Polluted with Heavy Metals and Metalloids

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Toxicity Reduction and Environmental Remediation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 3879

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS), CSIC, 30100 Murcia, Spain
Interests: soil chemistry; trace elements; contaminated soils; phytoremediation; organic amendments; waste biomass valorization; anaerobic digestion; arsenic; eco-toxicology

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Guest Editor
College of Environment and Safety Engineering, Qingdao University of Science & Technology, Qingdao 266042, China
Interests: soil pollution and remediation; ecotoxicity of environmental pollutants; emerging contaminants; arbuscular mycorrhizae; phytoremediation; ecotoxicology and environmental risks; heavy metals; ecological restoration
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil pollution with heavy metals and metalloids is currently considered one of the most challenging environmental issues. Particularly, excessive toxic metal(loid)s concentrations not only damage soil quality and ecosystem functioning but may also enter the edible parts of crops, threatening food safety and security, and cause human health risks via food chains. Phytoremediation has been recognized as a proper soil remediation technology, which uses plants either to remove toxic metal(loid)s from the soil through accumulating them in aerial parts such as shoots and leaves (i.e., phytoextraction or phytoaccumulation) or to transform them into less mobile and bioavailable/toxic forms (i.e., phytostabilization or phytoimmobilization). Some metal(loid)s such as Hg, As and Se can also be removed via phytovolatilization. However, phytoremediation has some drawbacks such as low removal efficiency, contaminant specificity, and time consumption. Therefore, more basic and applied research is needed to optimize phytoremediation programs, such as the selection and development of target plants, the application of beneficial organisms and soil amendments, and the disposal or use of plant materials after harvest. The phytoremediation of soil polluted with emerging metal-based contaminants (e.g., nanoparticles) and combined contaminants including metal(loid)s also requires to be further explored. This Special Issue focuses on all aspects of phytoremediation of soil polluted with heavy metals and metalloids, including new plants, new contaminants, new mechanisms, and new remediation materials and technologies. Alternatives for plant biomass reuse and valorization will be also wellcome.

Dr. Rafael Clemente
Prof. Dr. Fayuan Wang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • phytoremediation
  • phytoextraction
  • phytostabilization
  • phytovolatilization
  • soil contamination
  • potentially toxic elements
  • emerging contaminants
  • biomass valorization
  • ecotoxicology
  • risk assessment

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 3185 KiB  
Article
Phytostabilization of Heavy Metals and Fungal Community Response in Manganese Slag under the Mediation of Soil Amendments and Plants
by Hao Wang, Hui Liu, Rongkui Su and Yonghua Chen
Toxics 2024, 12(5), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12050333 - 30 Apr 2024
Viewed by 451
Abstract
The addition of soil amendments and plants in heavy metal-contaminated soil can result in a significant impact on physicochemical properties, microbial communities and heavy metal distribution, but the specific mechanisms remain to be explored. In this study, Koelreuteria paniculata was used as a [...] Read more.
The addition of soil amendments and plants in heavy metal-contaminated soil can result in a significant impact on physicochemical properties, microbial communities and heavy metal distribution, but the specific mechanisms remain to be explored. In this study, Koelreuteria paniculata was used as a test plant, spent mushroom compost (SMC) and attapulgite (ATP) were used as amendments, and manganese slag was used as a substrate. CK (100% slag), M0 (90% slag + 5% SMC + 5% ATP) and M1 (90% slag + 5% SMC + 5% ATP, planting K. paniculata) groups were assessed in a pilot-scale experiment to explore their different impacts on phytoremediation. The results indicated that adding the amendments significantly improved the pH of the manganese slag, enhancing and maintaining its fertility and water retention. Adding the amendments and planting K. paniculata (M1) significantly reduced the bioavailability and migration of heavy metals (HMs). The loss of Mn, Pb and Zn via runoff decreased by 15.7%, 8.4% and 10.2%, respectively, compared to CK. K. paniculata recruited and enriched beneficial fungi, inhibited pathogenic fungi, and a more stable fungal community was built. This significantly improved the soil quality, promoted plant growth and mitigated heavy metal toxicity. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that the addition of SMC-ATP and planting K. paniculata showed a good phytostabilization effect in the manganese slag and further revealed the response process of the fungal community in phytoremediation. Full article
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13 pages, 1658 KiB  
Article
Improving Lead Phytoremediation Using Endophytic Bacteria Isolated from the Pioneer Plant Ageratina adenophora (Spreng.) from a Mining Area
by Qiqian Li, Siyu Yao, Hua Wen, Wenqi Li, Ling Jin and Xiuxiang Huang
Toxics 2024, 12(4), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics12040291 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 669
Abstract
This study aimed to isolate and characterise endophytic bacteria from the pioneer plant Ageratina adenophora in a mining area. Seven strains of metal-resistant endophytic bacteria that belong to five genera were isolated from the roots of A. adenophora. These strains exhibited various [...] Read more.
This study aimed to isolate and characterise endophytic bacteria from the pioneer plant Ageratina adenophora in a mining area. Seven strains of metal-resistant endophytic bacteria that belong to five genera were isolated from the roots of A. adenophora. These strains exhibited various plant growth-promoting (PGP) capabilities. Sphingomonas sp. ZYG-4, which exhibited the ability to secrete indoleacetic acid (IAA; 53.2 ± 8.3 mg·L−1), solubilize insoluble inorganic phosphates (Phosphate solubilization; 11.2 ± 2.9 mg·L−1), and regulate root ethylene levels (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid deaminase activity; 2.87 ± 0.19 µM α-KB·mg−1·h−1), had the highest PGP potential. Therefore, Sphingomonas sp. ZYG-4 was used in a pot experiment to study its effect on the biomass and Pb uptake of both host (Ageratina adenophora) and non-host (Dysphania ambrosioides) plants. Compared to the uninoculated control, Sphingomonas sp. ZYG-4 inoculation increased the biomass of shoots and roots by 59.4% and 144.4% for A. adenophora and by 56.2% and 57.1% for D. ambrosioides, respectively. In addition, Sphingomonas sp. ZYG-4 inoculation enhanced Pb accumulation in the shoot and root by 268.9% and 1187.3% for A. adenophora, and by 163.1% and 343.8% for D. ambrosioides, respectively, compared to plants without bacterial inoculation. Our research indicates that endophytic bacteria are promising candidates for enhancing plant growth and facilitating microbe-assisted phytoremediation in heavy metal-contaminated soil. Full article
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11 pages, 984 KiB  
Article
Biochar Decreases Cr Toxicity and Accumulation in Sunflower Grown in Cr(VI)-Polluted Soil
by Shuai Li, Yiming Xie, Shuguang Jiang, Mingda Yang, Hongxia Lei, Wenzhi Cui and Fayuan Wang
Toxics 2023, 11(9), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11090787 - 16 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1044
Abstract
Biochar is preferentially recommended for the remediation of heavy metal-polluted soils. Sunflower is an important high-biomass oil crop with a promising potential for phytoremediation of Cr(VI)-polluted soil. However, how biochar affects sunflower growth and Cr accumulation in Cr(VI)-polluted soil needs to be elucidated. [...] Read more.
Biochar is preferentially recommended for the remediation of heavy metal-polluted soils. Sunflower is an important high-biomass oil crop with a promising potential for phytoremediation of Cr(VI)-polluted soil. However, how biochar affects sunflower growth and Cr accumulation in Cr(VI)-polluted soil needs to be elucidated. Here, a pot culture experiment was conducted to study whether soil amendment with biochar (0, 0.1%, 1%, and 5%, w/w) can mitigate Cr toxicity and accumulation in sunflower seedlings grown in soils artificially polluted with different levels of Cr(VI) (0, 50, and 250 mg Cr(VI)/kg soil). The addition of Cr(VI) exhibited significant phytotoxicity, as evidenced by inhibited plant growth and even the death of seedlings at 250 mg/kg Cr(VI). Overall, biochar amendment showed positive effects on plant growth and Cr immobilization, dependent on both the biochar dose and Cr addition level. When 50 mg/kg Cr(VI) was added, 1% biochar showed positive effects similar to 5% biochar on improving plant growth and mineral nutrition (particularly K), reducing Cr content in shoots and roots, and decreasing Cr availability and Cr(VI) content in the soil. In comparison with non-amendment, 1% and 5% biochar caused 85% and 100% increase in shoot dry weights, and 75% and 86% reduction in shoot Cr concentrations, respectively. When 250 mg/kg Cr(VI) was added, a 5% dose produced much better benefits than 1%, while a 0.1% dose did not help plants to survive. Overall, an appropriate dose of biochar enhanced Cr(VI) immobilization and subsequently decreased its toxicity and accumulation in sunflower seedlings. Our findings confirm that biochar can be used as an efficient amendment for the remediation of Cr(VI)-polluted soils and cleaner production of sunflower oil and biomass. Full article
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18 pages, 5866 KiB  
Article
Interaction of Lead and Cadmium Reduced Cadmium Toxicity in Ficus parvifolia Seedlings
by Yan Li, Xiaomao Cheng, Chengcheng Feng and Xiaoxia Huang
Toxics 2023, 11(3), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11030271 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1146
Abstract
Potentially toxic elements (PTEs) pollution occurs widely in soils due to various anthropogenic activities. Lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) coexist in soil frequently, threatening plant growth. To explore the interaction effect between Pb and Cd in Ficus parvifolia and the response of plant [...] Read more.
Potentially toxic elements (PTEs) pollution occurs widely in soils due to various anthropogenic activities. Lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) coexist in soil frequently, threatening plant growth. To explore the interaction effect between Pb and Cd in Ficus parvifolia and the response of plant physiological characteristics to Pb and Cd stress, we designed a soil culture experiment. The experiment demonstrated that Pb stress improved leaf photosynthesis ability, while Cd stress inhibited it. Furthermore, Pb or Cd stress increased malonaldehyde (MDA) content, but plants were able to reduce it by increasing antioxidant enzyme activities. The presence of Pb could alleviate Cd phytotoxicity in plants by inhibiting Cd uptake and accumulation as well as increasing leaf photosynthesis and antioxidant ability. Pearson correlation analysis illustrated that the variability of Cd uptake and accumulation between Pb and Cd stress was related to plant biomass and antioxidant enzyme activities. This research will offer a new perspective on alleviating Cd phytotoxicity in plants. Full article
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