Preventing Aluminum Phytotoxicity through Phytoremediation
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Aluminum toxicity is one of the leading factors resulting in decreased agricultural yields on acid soils, which comprise up to 50% of the world’s potential arable land. While the final goal of much of the current research on aluminum phytotoxicity is to develop transgenic crops resistant to aluminum, there are current technologies that can potentially reduce aluminum phytotoxicity; phytoremediation, the cleanup of environmental contaminants with plants, is one such example. However, before an aluminum phytoremediation program can be implemented, an idea of the length of a program must be estimated. In this study, a crude model of aluminum phytoremediation was constructed by subjecting 17-day old common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) seedlings to increasing concentrations of aluminum in hydroponic culture, and then determining the rate at which aluminum was removed from the hydroponic solution. At the end of a six-day period, the rate of aluminum uptake was directly proportional to the initial concentration of aluminum in solution.