GROWTH OF WEED AND CROP PLANTS UNDER CADMIUM STRESS AND THEIR PHYTOREMEDIATION POTENTIAL
Phytoremediation is a promising new technology to remediate ecosystems using certain plants that can accumulate and withstand relatively high concentrations of a pollutant. Growth traits and cadmium (Cd) uptake of two weeds (Phalaris minor, Abutilon theophrasti) and four crop species (Gossypium hirsutum, Cichorium intibus, Vicia sativa, Apium graveolens) grown in soil with varying levels of Cd (0-200 mg/kg), were studied in a greenhouse under controlled environment for 5-7 weeks. The species tolerance to Cd (as plant growth), in descending order, was: V. sativa > Gossypium hirstitum >A. graveolens, C intibus, A. theophrasti >P. minor. Cadmium, accumulated mainly in roots, 50-76%, depending on species, (except for C. intibus), while the rest 24-50% was transferred to shoots the concentration being positively related to Cd level in soil. C. intibus with high accumulation and transfer factor (TF) of Cd (the ratio of shoot Cd concentration to the available Cd in soil) in shoots. A. graveolens with high Cd concentrations in roots, and V. sativa with the highest tolerance and biomass production seem to have a potential in phytoremediation to remove Cd from contaminated soils.