Author(s): Aldrich MV, GardeaTorresdey JL, PeraltaVidea JR, Parsons JG
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Abstract Chromium (Cr) is a well-established carcinogen that is a contaminant at half of the EPA Superfund sites in the United States. Two separate studies were performed to investigate the possibility that mesquite (Prosopis spp.), which is an indigenous desert plant species, can remove Cr from the environment via active transport systems to the aerial portions of the plant. The first study was performed by growing mesquite on solid media (agar) at Cr(VI) concentrations of 75 and 125 ppm. The accumulation found in the leaves under the present conditions indicated that mesquite could be classified as a hyperaccumulator of chromium. The second study was conducted to investigate the differences between the type of Cr ligand involved in Cr uptake with agar and hydroponic cultures. We used X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to determine the mechanisms involved in the uptake and binding of Cr(VI) in live mesquite tissue. The XAS results for this study showed that some of the supplied Cr(VI) was uptaken by the mesquite roots; however, the data analyses of the plant tissues demonstrated that it was fully reduced to Cr(III) in the leaf tissues. Experiments are currently being performed to evaluate the behavior of the Mesquite plant using lower Cr concentrations.
This article was published in Environ Sci Technol
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation