Mycophytoextraction of Mercury from Small-Scale Gold Mine Tailings Contaminating Agricultural Land and Its Effect on Maize Growth


An experiments aimed to explore the effects of mycorrhizae inoculation on the potential of local plant species (Paspalum conjugatum, Cyperus kyllingia, and Lindernia crustacea) for phytoextraction of mercury from small-scale gold mine tailings contaminating agricultural land has been conducted in a glasshouse.  The first experiment was set up as three plant species, and doses of mycorrhizal inoculation, i.e. 0 and 30 spores/plant. At harvest of 63 days, shoots and roots were analyzed for mercury concentration, consisted of 6 treatments (PcM0; PcM1; CkM0; CkM1; LcM0; LcM1), and the second experiment  using the remediated soils of the first trials consisted of treatments (six treatments previous and one control) were used for growing maize 84 days. Each of the plant seedlings was planted in a plastic pot containing 10 kg of tailing and compost mixture. The results showed that Glomus was the most compatible mycorrhizae against the three types of host plants studied. Mycorrhizal inoculation significantly affected plant growth and biomass weight of three plant species. The highest Hg accumulation (56.3 mg/kg) was observed in the shoot of PcM1. Overall, the tested three plant species could be used for phytoextration of mercury from small-scale gold mine tailings contaminating agricultural land, but its interactions with mycorrhizae did not significantly affect the accumulation of mercury. Myco-phytoextraction of mercury significantly enhanced maize growth and biomass.


Keywords: Cyperus kyllingia, Lindernia crustacea; Paspalum conjugatum; phytoremediation; gold mine tailings

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