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Revista internacional de contaminación ambiental

Print version ISSN 0188-4999


ALVARADO, Carlos J. et al. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and the phytoremediation of lead. Rev. Int. Contam. Ambient [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.4, pp.357-364. ISSN 0188-4999.

Amongst the heavy metals, lead (Pb) is a potential and in many cases an actual contaminant in several areas of the world as it accumulates easily in soil and sediment. Its presence in the environment is mainly due to anthropogenic activities. Pb is not an essential element for plants, animals and humans. High concentrations of Pb in humans causes different symptoms of toxicity such as the lack of growth and an impact on the nervous system, amongst others. Phytoremediation is an alternative environmental technology that is low in cost and environmentally sustainable. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) offer an attractive system to assist in phytoremediation because the symbiotic interaction increases the root system of plants and thereby the potential of the bioavailability of Pb in soil is increased. AMF also confer high resistance to drought, salinity and others stresses. When the highest concentration of Pb in plants grown in contaminated soil is found in the roots, the fungus-plant interaction is considered as a phytostabilization system. Some studies have shown that mycorrhizal plants accumulate high amounts of Pb in their above-ground parts. According to these reports the plant-fungus interaction could also be suitable for phytoextraction. The mechanisms involved in the remediation of Pb contaminated soils are unknown. Therefore in this paper an overview of the use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and the mechanism involved in phytoremediation of soils contaminated by Pb is presented.

Keywords : heavy metals; mycorrhyza; phytoaccumulation; bioremediation.

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