Phytoremediation of cadmium and nickel using Vetiveria zizanioides

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Rangeland Management Department. Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,Gorgan, Iran.

2 M.Sc student of Rangeland Management. Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences Department. Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,Gorgan, Iran.


Phytoremediation is a well known heavy metals remediation technique for contaminated
soils and water. The present study was aimed to evaluate the uptake and dry weight
response of vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides L.) subjected to different levels of cadmium
(Cd) (0, 3, 6 and 12 mg/kg soil) and nickel (Ni) (0, 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg soil) stress. The
experiment was conducted in pots using a completely randomized design with four
replications for three months. Concentration of Ni and Cd was determined using atomic
absorption spectrophotometer. The dried weight of aerial and underground parts of Vetiver
grass individuals at the end of the experiment were used to compare plant weight response
to different stresses. Statistical analysis was performed using version 18 of SPSS software
and analysis of variance (ANOVA) and mean comparisons were completed through Tukey
method. No restrictions on Cd uptake was observed in root and shoot of Vetiver grass, but
in the case of Ni, its concentration in shoots of vetiver grass decreased with higher metal
levels.The highest transfer factor (TF) among Ni treatments was observed at the lowest
concentration (50 mg/L) and the highest TF among Cd treatments was observed at the
highest concentration (12 mg/L). Results revealed that Ni and Cd had a significant (p<0.05)
positive effect on shoot and root dry weight of Vetiver grass. Our results suggest capability
of this plant for use in phytoextraction of Ni and phytostabilisation of Cd contaminated


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