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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OPTIMIZING FORAGE-BASED COW-CALF OPERATIONS TO IMPROVE SUSTAINABILITY OF BEEF CATTLE AGRICULTURE AND WATER QUALITY PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT Title: Assessing phytoremediation potentials of selected tropical plants for acrylamide

Authors
item Paz-Alberto, Annie -
item DE Dios, Ma. Johanna -
item Alberto, Ronaldo -
item Sigua, Gilbert

Submitted to: Journal of Soils and Sediments
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 10, 2011
Publication Date: June 29, 2011
Citation: Paz-Alberto, A.M., De Dios, M.J., Alberto, R.T., Sigua, G.C. 2011. Assessing phytoremediation potentials of selected tropical plants for acrylamide. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 11:1190-1198.

Interpretive Summary: The greatest use of acrylamide is in water purification, largely as a flocculant and in RNA and DNA analysis using polyacrylamide gel electrophoreses. Polymerized acrylamide is degraded into acrylamide through time; it is converted into a hazardous contaminant that is carcinogenic and neurotoxic to animals and humans. Various techniques are used for cleaning up acrylamide contamination in soils that includes the conventional engineering-based remediation and phytoextraction. Phytoextraction is an alternative method that uses plants to clean up contaminated soils. Plants are equipped with remarkable metabolic and adsorption capabilities, as well as transport systems that can take up nutrients or contaminants selectively from the growth matrix, soil or water. Phytoremediation study could in a way reduce the environmental and health risks because this toxic waste may not be transported anymore thereby decreasing the number of persons that could be exposed to this chemical. This phytoremediation study could in a way reduce the environmental and health risks of acrylamide because this toxic waste may not be transported anymore thereby decreasing the number of persons that could be exposed to this chemical. This technology could lessen the soil and water contamination by acrylamide thereby limiting the exposure of animals and humans. This study was conducted to achieve the following objectives: (1) to evaluate phytoremediation potentials of some selected tropical plants in acrylamide contaminated soil; (2) to compare the performance of tropical plants in absorbing acrylamide through accumulation in their roots and shoots; and (3) to determine the outcome of acrylamide in the soil after treatment using the test plants with phytoremediation potentials. This study used Mustard (Brassica juncea L.), petchay (Brassica chinensis L.), vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizaniodes L.), hog weeds(Portulaca oleracea L.), snake plant (Sanseviera trifasciata Prain) and common sword fern (Nephrolepsis cordifolia L.). Among the six test plants, vetiver grass and snake plant had the greatest uptake of acrylamide from the soil (30.6 kg ha–1 and 29.4 kg ha–1, respectively). These plants exhibited great number and longer roots, which are characteristics of excellent phytoremediator plants. Thus, vetiver grass can absorb more acrylamide due to its root’s growth characteristics. These findings could be attributed to the extraordinary features of vetiver grass such as its massive and deep root system and heavy biomass including its highly tolerance to extreme soil conditions like heavy acrylamide toxicities . These two plants can be considered as the best phytoremediator of acrylamide because they are perennial plants with heavier biomass with long, dense and extended root system. As such, these plants are capable of absorbing acrylamide in the soil for a long period.

Technical Abstract: In biotechnology, acrylamide is being used in DNA and RNA analysis using the polyacrylamide gel electrophoreses procedure. Polymerized acrylamide is degraded into acrylamide through time; it is converted into a hazardous contaminant that is carcinogenic and neurotoxic to animals and humans. Because of this problem, this study was conceptualized to explore the acrylamide phytoremediation potential of some tropical plants that can eliminate or minimize the hazardous effects of acrylamide. Plants are equipped with remarkable metabolic and adsorption capabilities, as well as transport systems that can take up nutrients or contaminants selectively from the growth matrix, soil or water. This phytoremediation study could in a way reduce the environmental and health risks because this toxic waste may not be transported anymore thereby decreasing the number of persons that could be exposed to this chemical. This study was conducted to achieve the following objectives: (1) to evaluate phytoremediation potential of some selected tropical plants in acrylamide contaminated soil; (2) to compare the performance of tropical plants in absorbing acrylamide through accumulation in their roots and shoots; and (3) to determine the outcome of acrylamide in the soil after treatment using the test plants with phytoremediation potentials. This study used mustard (Brassica juncea L.), pechay (Brassica chinensis L.), vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizaniodes L.), hog weeds (Portulaca oleracea L.), snake plant (Sanseviera trifasciata Prain) and common sword fern (Nephrolepsis cordifolia L.). Among the plants tested, the highest concentration of acrylamide was absorbed by the whole plant of mustard (6,512.8 mg kg–1) compared with pechay (3,482.7 mg kg–1), fern (2,015.4 mg kg–1), hogweeds (1,805.3 mg kg–1), vetiver grass (1,385.4 mg kg–1) and snake plants (887.5 mg kg–1). Two members of Brassica family: Brassica juncea L. (mustard) and Brassica chinensis L. (pechay) were found to be effective in removing wide ranges of contaminants. Likewise, mustard obtained the highest acrylamide concentrations (mg kg–1) in the roots (2,372.9) and shoots (4,081.1) among the six test plants. Results of our study proved that all the test plants are potential phytoremediators of acrylamide. Vetiver grass and snake plant had the highest uptake of acrylamide even though these plants did not absorb the highest acrylamide concentration. These two plants can be considered as the best phytoremediator of acrylamide because they are perennial plants with heavier biomass with long, dense and extended root system.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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