Phytoremediation Potential of Crotalaria juncea Plants in Lead-Contaminated Soils

  •  Tatyane Martins Silva    
  •  Gabriela de Medeiros Macêdo    
  •  Nathalia Zenaide Duraes Soares    
  •  Maria Cecília Afonso Fonseca    
  •  Guilherme Araújo Lacerda    
  •  Maria das Dores Magalhães Veloso    
  •  Arlete Barbosa dos Reis    
  •  Márcio Antônio Silva Pimenta    
  •  Sônia Ribeiro Arrudas    


Soil pollution by highly toxic metals (such as lead, Pb) derived from human activities has become a serious problem in recent years. Phytoremediation is a technique that uses plants or microorganisms to remedy such toxicity from contaminated soils and water. This study aimed to evaluate the efficiency of the legume Crotalaria juncea as a phytoremediator of lead-contaminated soils. We evaluated plant growth and lead content in the soil andin C. juncea’s leaves and roots. Three treatments with varying concentrations of lead in the soil were evaluated: 0 mg kg-1 (control), 250 mg kg-1, and 500 mg kg-1. Plant growth and plant physical aspects were quantified. Metal concentration in the soil, leaves, and roots was assessed by atomic absorption spectrometry. The species had a survival rate of 100%. The highest content of lead was found in the plants’ roots. Plant growth did not differ significantly among the three treatments, leaf lead concentration did. Crotalaria juncea has potential for lead phytoremediator. In addition, it is a tolerant vegetal and hyperaccumulator of Pb, mainly in the roots, and due to these characteristics its potential for phytoextraction of this metal under field conditions should be evaluated.

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