• Journal Article

Endophytic bacteria improve phytoremediation of Ni and TCE co-contamination


Weyens, N., Croes, S., Dupae, J., Newman, L., van der Lelie, D., Carleer, R., & Vangronsveld, J. (2010). Endophytic bacteria improve phytoremediation of Ni and TCE co-contamination. Environmental Pollution, 158(7), 2422-2427.


The aim of this work was to investigate if engineered endophytes can improve phytoremediation of co-contaminations by organic pollutants and toxic metals. As a model system, yellow lupine was inoculated with the endophyte Burkholderia cepacia VM1468 possessing (a) the pTOM-Bu61 plasmid, coding for constitutive trichloroethylene (TCE) degradation, and (b) the ncc-nre Ni resistance/sequestration system. Plants were exposed to Ni and TCE and (a) Ni and TCE phytotoxicity, (b) TCE degradation and evapotranspiration, and (c) Ni concentrations in the roots and shoots were determined. Inoculation with B. cepacia VM1468 resulted in decreased Ni and TCE phytotoxicity, as measured by 30% increased root biomass and up to 50% decreased activities of enzymes involved in anti-oxidative defence in the roots. In addition, TCE evapotranspiration showed a decreasing trend and a 5 times higher Ni uptake was observed after inoculation