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The potential for wheat roots in phytoremediation of phenolic compounds

Alnusaire, Taghreed Stum (2016) The potential for wheat roots in phytoremediation of phenolic compounds. PhD thesis, Prifysgol Bangor University.

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Abstract

Soil pollution is a global problem, resulting in a major international research effort using bioremediation technology to exploit plant and microorganism in the removal of contaminants. Phenolic compounds are major pollutants from industrial effluents and consequently are present in many soil and water systems throughout the world. Phytoremediation studies in soil contaminated with phenolic compounds are a challenge. The rhizosphere is an extremely dynamic zone, both spatially and temporally. In order to understand the complex rhizoremediation processes (including root-microbe reactions), there is a need to study the biophysical interactions at the root/soil interface. However, this is limited by sampling and analysis techniques. A modified (SiCSA) Single Cell Sampling and Analysis technique using fine glass microcapillaries was used in an attempt to overcome this issue. This micro-scale technique was used to quantify the polar phenolic compounds such as syringic acid. Phenols of lower polarity offer different technical challenges as they rapidly dissolve in paraffin oil, which was used to prevent the evaporation of micro samples. As a result, a conventional ‘macro’ approach was also used. A microcosm system for plant growth was used to facilitate access to soil and roots. The phenolic compounds were analysis using Capillary Zone Electrophoresis (CZE). The two selected plants, rye and wheat, have the ability to speed up the removal of two selected phenolic compounds from soil after their addition. The pathways through the plant of phenol (an artificial compound) and syringic acid (a biological compound) are different. Different strategies of phytoremediation of these phenolic compounds in soil was demonstrated in wheat. Phenol was absorbed into the root and transported to the leaf. Phenol seemed to be partially accumulated in the leaf, while some amount evaporated through stomata to the atmosphere. Syringic acid was taken up by the root and seemed to be metabolized there within less 2 hours. No evidence was found that this compound is rapidly transported to the leaf. Phytoremediation occurs in ways previously reported, such as metabolism, accumulation and evaporation. In conclusion, although microbial processes probably dominate the removal from soil of phenolics studied, both rye and wheat behaviour contributed to the removal of phenolic compounds. This indicates the potential of using them in phytoremediation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Degree Thesis
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
Degree Thesis
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2016 08:36
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2016 09:25
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/8102
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