GIULIETTI Ana Maria
Some Physiological, Microbial and Toxicological Aspects of Removal of Phenol by Hydroponics Cultures of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)
FLOCCO, C.G.; LOBALBO,A.; CARRANZA,P.; GIULIETTI A.M.; MAC CORMAK,W.
International Journal of Phytoremediation
Taylor and Francis Ltd
Año: 2002 vol. 3 p. 169 - 169
Abstract Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and other plants bearing an important root system have been shown to be effective in the removal of organic compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Phenanthrene is one of the main contaminants arising from the petrochemical industry and is included in the USEPA´s list of priority toxic pollutants. Hydroponic cultures of alfalfa were employed as a model system to evaluate their capability of removing phenanthrene and to study the plant-pollutant interaction without the interference of a soil matrix. The removal of phenanthrene was followed over a period of 30 days. The half-life of phenanthrene in hydroponics (initial concentration 50 mg L-1) was reduced 2.7 times when plants were present. Growth index, chlorophyll content of leaves, and peroxidase activity of the roots of plants exposed to phenanthrene were lower than the corresponding values of nonexposed plants. Phenanthrene produced an acute negative effect on the total bacterial counts but also caused an increase in degraders/total bacteria ratio. The Ames Salmonella plate incorporation assay was employed to screen for potential genotoxic metabolites, which could be generated by metabolic activation of the parent compound. None of the samples exhibited a positive response. While lack of a positive response to this test is not a definitive evidence of the absence of genotoxic substances, these results suggest that the plant-assisted removal of phenanthrene merits further investigation. Keywords: phytoremediation; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; plant model system; phenanthrene-degrading bacteria; hydroponic culture view references (41)