Biodegradable chelate enhances the phytoextraction of copper by Oenothera picensis grown in copper-contaminated acid soils

Isabel González, Amparo Cortes, Alexander Neaman, Patricio Rubio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oenothera picensis plants (Fragrant Evening Primrose) grow in the acid soils contaminated by copper smelting in the coastal region of central Chile. We evaluated the effects of the biodegradable chelate MGDA (methylglycinediacetic acid) on copper extraction by O. picensis and on leaching of copper through the soil profile, using an ex situ experiment with soil columns of varying heights. MGDA was applied in four rates: 0 (control), 2, 6 and 10mmol plant-1. MGDA application significantly increased biomass production and foliar concentration, permitting an effective increase in copper extraction, from 0.09mg plant-1 in the control, to 1.3mg plant-1 in the 6 and 10mmol plant-1 treatments. With 10mmol plant-1 rate of MGDA, the copper concentration in the leachate from the 30cm columns was 20 times higher than in the control. For the 60cm columns, copper concentration was 2 times higher than the control. It can be concluded that at increased soil depths, copper leaching would be minimal and that MGDA applications at the studied rates would not pose a high risk for leaching into groundwater. It can thus be stated that applications of MGDA are an effective and environmentally safe way to improve copper extraction by O. picensis in these soils.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-496
Number of pages7
JournalChemosphere
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bioaccumulation
  • Chelation
  • Induced phytoextraction
  • Metal bioavailability
  • Methylglycinediacetic acid
  • Phytoremediation

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