A novel metal biosorption system consisting of the symbiotic combination of an indigenous metal-resistant rhizobial strain, Cupriavidus taiwanensis TJ208, and its host plant Mimosa pudica has been developed for the removal of heavy-metal pollutants. Free-living C. taiwanensis TJ208 cells were able to adsorb 50.1, 19.0, and 19.6 mg/g of Pb, Cu, and Cd, respectively. After nodulation via inoculation with strain TJ208, the metal uptake ability of M. pudica markedly increased, as the nodulated M. pudica displayed a high metal uptake capacity (qmax) of 485, 25, and 43 mg/g, respectively, which is 86, 12, and 70% higher than that of nodule-free plants. Moreover, with TJ208 nodules, the M. pudica plant also displayed a 71, 81, and 33% enhancement in metal adsorption efficiency (η) for Pb, Cu, and Cd, respectively. The nodulation appeared to give the greatest enhancing effect on the uptake of Pb, which is consistent with the preference of metal adsorption ability of TJ208. This seems to indicate the crucial role that the rhizobial strain may play in stimulating metal uptake of the nodulated plant. Furthermore, the results show that metal accumulation in the nodulated plant mainly occurred in the roots, accounting for 65-95% of total metal uptake. In contrast, the nodules and the shoots only contributed to 3-12 and 2-23% of total metal uptake, respectively. Nevertheless, the specific adsorption capacity of nodules is comparable to that of the roots. Hence, this work demonstrates the feasibility and effectiveness of using the nodulated plants to promote phyto-removal of heavy metals from the polluted environment as well as to restrict the metal contaminants in the unharmful region of the plant.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis