Toxicity Experiment to Access the Impact of Petrochemical Organic and Inorganic Contaminants on the Seed Germination and Growth of Pennisetum pedicellatum

International Journal of Biotech Trends and Technology (IJBTT)
© 2016 by IJBTT Journal
Volume - 6 Issue - 3                          
Year of Publication : 2016
Authors : Sheetal Koul, M.H. Fulekar


Sheetal Koul, M.H. Fulekar "Toxicity Experiment to Access the Impact of Petrochemical Organic and Inorganic Contaminants on the Seed Germination and Growth of Pennisetum pedicellatum", International Journal of Biotech Trends and Technology (IJBTT), V6(3): 5-12 Jul - Sep 2016. Published by Seventh Sense Research Group.


Research in recent years has proved “phytoremediation” as a promising technology for clean-up of petroleum contaminated soils. The present study has been carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of grass Pennisetum pedicellatum as a potential plant for phytoremediation of organic and heavy metal contaminants. Seed germination and root/shoot biomass is one of the commonly used bioassay for eco-toxicity evaluation and selection of the plants for their prospective use in phytoremediation. The effect of PAH compounds (anthracene and phenanthrene); heavy metals (Zn,Cd and Pb) separately and in combination on the seed germination of Pennisetum pedicellatum was investigated using PAH and heavy metal spiked soil at the concentrations of 25,50,75 and 100 mg/kg, for a period of 30 days along with unspiked soil as control. It was observed that Pennisetum pedicellatum could efficiently tolerate and survive at a high concentration of 100mg/kg of PAH compounds, however a constant decline in the germination rate was observed if the same was compared to control. Higher concentration of contaminant especially heavy metals showed negative effect on root-shoot biomass of the plant, root length was more affected by metals than shoot length. Toxicity of heavy metals towards seed germination and elongation trial was Cd>Pb>Zn. The research findings suggest that heavy metal contamination proved to be more toxic to the plant than co-contamination (heavy metal and organic compounds) and organic contamination alone. Based on these results Pennisetum pedicellatum is recommended for follow-up investigations which could further develop the application of phytoremediation of petroleum contaminated soils.


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phytoremediation, toxicity, Pennisetum pedicellatum, PAH, heavy metal contamination.