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Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) as Buffer for Heavy Metals Phytoextraction by Cucurbita maxima Duch. Grown on Crude Oil Contaminated Soil

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This study evaluated the influence of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (Rhizophagus irregularis) fungi inoculation (M) on the growth of Cucurbita maxima and as a buffer against phytoextraction of selected heavy metals (HM) (Zn, Cu, Cr, Cd and Pb) from a soil contaminated with crude oil (C). The experiment was set up using four soil treatments, each with three replicates C+ M-, C+ M+, C-M+ and C-M- (control without oil and inoculum). The shoot length, petiole length, number of nodes, leaf area and percentage germination of C. maxima were significantly (p=0.05) reduced in uninoculated crude oil treatment (C+ M-), unpolluted mycorrhizal inoculated treatments (C-M+) showed remarkable response in growth parameters above the control (C-M-), while the polluted and inoculated treatment (C+ M+) showed significant (p=0.05) increase in growth parameters when compared to the polluted uninoculated treatment (C+ M-). Heavy metals analysis revealed a significant (p=0.05) difference in the heavy metal accumulation of C. maxima. The heavy metals analyzed in this study are present thus in C. maxima; Zn>Cu>Cr>Pb>Cd. Crude oil polluted uninoculated treatment (C+ M-) recorded the highest concentrations of heavy metals than crude oil polluted inoculated (R. irregularis) treatment (C+ M+). Mycorrhizal inoculated unpolluted treatment (C-M+) and unpolluted uninoculated treatment (C-M-) indicated the lowest heavy metal concentrations. Inoculation with R. irregularis significantly (p=0.05) reduced heavy metals uptake by C. maxima as observed in this study. Also, the negative effect of crude oil on AMF root colonization of C. maxima by R. irregularis was observed in polluted and inoculated treatment. HM often accumulate in the top layer of soil, therefore, are available for uptake by plants via roots, which is a major entry point of HM that ultimately affects different physiological processes. AM fungi can impinge on the chemical properties of heavy metals in the soil, their absorption by the host plant, and their allocation to different plant parts, affecting plant growth and the bioremediation process, thus making the AM fungi a suitable buffer for mitigating heavy metal stress on C. maxima.


Journal of Horticulture and Plant Research (Volume 3)
O. G. Okon et al., "Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) as Buffer for Heavy Metals Phytoextraction by Cucurbita maxima Duch. Grown on Crude Oil Contaminated Soil", Journal of Horticulture and Plant Research, Vol. 3, pp. 1-12, 2018
Online since:
August 2018

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