The potential of the Ni-resistant TCE-degrading Pseudomonas putida W619-TCE to reduce phytotoxicity and improve phytoremediation efficiency of poplar cuttings on A Ni-TCE co-contamination
To examine the potential of Pseudomonas putida W619-TCE to improve phytoremediation of Ni-TCE co-contamination, the effects of inoculation of a Ni-resistant, TCE-degrading root endophyte on Ni-TCE phytotoxicity, Ni uptake and trichloroethylene (TCE) degradation of Ni-TCE-exposed poplar cuttings are evaluated.
After inoculation with P. putida W619-TCE, root weight of non-exposed poplar cuttings significantly increased. Further, inoculation induced a mitigation of the Ni-TCE phytotoxicity, which was illustrated by a diminished exposure-induced increase in activity of antioxidative enzymes. Considering phytoremediation efficiency, inoculation with P. putida W619-TCE resulted in a 45% increased Ni uptake in roots as well as a slightly significant reduction in TCE concentration in leaves and TCE evapotranspiration to the atmosphere.
These results indicate that endophytes equipped with the appropriate characteristics can assist their host plant to deal with co-contamination of toxic metals and organic contaminants during phytoremediation. Furthermore, as poplar is an excellent plant for biomass production as well as for phytoremediation, the obtained results can be exploited to produce biomass for energy and industrial feedstock applications in a highly productive manner on contaminated land that is not suited for normal agriculture. Exploiting this land for biomass production could contribute to diminish the conflict between food and bioenergy production.