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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337998

Research Project: Developing Sustainable Cropping Systems to Improve Water Productivity and Protect Water and Soil Quality in Irrigated Agriculture

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Overview and prospects of selenium phytoremediation approaches

item Banuelos, Gary
item DHILLON, KARAJ - Punjab Agricultural University

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/2017
Publication Date: 5/15/2017
Citation: Banuelos, G.S., Dhillon, K.S. 2017. Overview and prospects of selenium phytoremediation approaches. In: Pilon-Smits, E.A.H., Winkel, L.H.E., Lin, Z., editors. Selenium in Plants: Molecular, Physiological, Ecological and Evolutionary Aspects. Springer International Publishing. p. 277-321.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Evidence is lacking on whether selenium (Se) is essential for vegetation growth, but plants can absorb, assimilate, and accumulate Se in leaves and roots. The capability of plants to take up substantial amount of Se is now being utilized to remove excess Se from contaminated soils. This process has been termed as ‘phytoremediation.’ Although phytoremediation has been recognized and documented for more than 300 years, it was not introduced until the early 1980s by ARS researchers. Since that time, its popularity has been increasing as a potential practical and cost-effective technology for remediation of Se-contaminated environments. In this regard, phytoremediation of Se-contaminated soils can be a non-polluting and cost effective way to remove or stabilize Se over time that might otherwise be leached out of the soil by excessive irrigation or rain water to contaminate groundwater, surface waters, or drainage waters. However, due to some inherent limitations, phytoremediation may not be fully effective in all type of contaminated sites, especially when the contamination runs too deep or the concentration is too high. In addition, the green process takes time. The efficiency of phytoremediation may be greatly increased through the application of recent technological advances in plant breeding, genetic engineering, and by manipulation of agronomic practices. In this chapter, we have attempted to review phytoremediation strategies at field scale that have helped to reduce the impact of high Se levels in the soil. Among different phytoremediation strategies, brief procedural details are discussed for i) phytoextraction, ii) phytovolatilization and iii) rhizofilteration, all of which are considered the major components for the phytoremediation of Se-contaminated soils and waters. Importantly, proposed commercialization of harvested plant biomass (from phytoremediation sites) for use as animal feed in Se-deficient areas, or the production of biofuel from oil-producing phyto-crops, are discussed in creating a sustainable phytoremediation strategy.