The Role of Mycorrhizae Associated with Vetiver Grown in Pb-/Zn-Contaminated Soils: Greenhouse Study

Authors

  • Ching Chi Wong,

    1. Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.
    2. Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.
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  • Sheng Chun Wu,

    1. Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.
    2. Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.
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  • Clem Kuek,

    1. Meumax Consultants, Sydney, Australia.
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  • Abdul G. Khan,

    1. Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
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  • Ming Hung Wong

    Corresponding author
    1. Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.
    2. Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China.
      Address correspondence to M. H. Wong, email mhwong@hkbu.edu.hk
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Address correspondence to M. H. Wong, email mhwong@hkbu.edu.hk

Abstract

The effects of mycorrhizae on growth and uptake of N, P, Zn, and Pb by plants were investigated in a greenhouse trial using vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides) as host. Inoculation of the host plants with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), Glomus mosseae and G. intraradices spores, significantly increased the growth and P uptake. Mycorrhizal colonization increased Pb and Zn uptake by plants under low soil metal concentrations (at 0 and 10 mg/kg of Pb or Zn), whereas under higher concentrations (at 100 and 1,000 mg/kg of Pb or Zn), it decreased Pb and Zn uptake. P concentration in soil was negatively correlated with mycorrhizal colonization as well as Zn or Pb concentrations. The results showed that inoculation of the host plants with AMF protects them from the potential toxicity caused by increased uptake of Pb and Zn, but the degree of protection varied according to the fungus and host plant combination. The potential of arbuscular mycorrhizae in phytoremediation of the Zn- or the Pb-contaminated soils is discussed in this article.

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