Search for a plant for phytoremediation--what can we learn from field and hydroponic studies?


The main aim of the study was to evaluate the strategies for coping with arsenic toxicity developed by the mine species (Calamagrostis arundinacea, Fragaria vesca, Stachys sylvatica, and Epilobium parviflorum), and to compare results obtained from plants exposed to arsenic present in contaminated soil (2000-3500 mg/kg dw) and in hydroponic solution (2 microM and 12 microM arsenate). Here we report basic differences in plant responses to arsenic depending on growth conditions (hydroponic/soil) with respect to uptake, root-to-shoot translocation, distribution, and detoxification/speciation. Calamagrostis has the highest level of As-tolerance among the tested species. When grown in soil, it accumulated the highest amount of As in roots and shoots relative to other species, however, when exposed to arsenic in hydroponics, it had lower As concentrations. The efficiency of arsenic root-to-shoot translocation was also different, being less effective in soil-grown Calamagrostis compared with hydroponics. Furthermore, in Calamagrostis exposed to arsenate in liquid medium, As(III) was the predominant arsenic form, in contrast to plants grown in As-contaminated soil, in which As(V) predominated. In addition, comparison of the level of phytochelatins showed that only PC2 was detected in plants from hydroponics, whereas in those from soil, additionally PC3 and PC4 were found. The results show that the basic components of a plant's response to arsenic, including uptake, accumulation as well as detoxification, change depending on the experimental conditions (arsenic in liquid medium or contaminated soil).

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.07.064