Enhanced accumulation of Pb in Indian mustard by soil-applied chelating agents

Michael J. Blaylock, David E. Salt, Slavik Dushenkov, Olga Zakharova, Christopher Gussman, Yoram Kapulnik, Burt D. Ensley, Ilya Raskin

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1047 Citations (Scopus)


Phytoremediation is emerging as a potential cost-effective solution for the remediation of contaminated soils. Because contaminants such as lead (Ph) have limited bioavailability in the soil, a means of solubilizing the Ph in the soil and facilitating its transport to the shoots of plants is vital to the success of phytoremediation. Indian mustard (Brassica juncea) was used to demonstrate the capability of plants to accumulate high tissue concentrations of Ph when grown in Pb-contaminated soil. Concentrations of 1.5% Pb in the shoots of B. juncea were obtained from soils containing 600 mg of Pb/kg amended with synthetic chelates such as EDTA. The accumulation of Ph in the tissue corresponded to the concentration of Ph in the soil and the concentration of EDTA added to the soil. The accumulation of Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn from contaminated soil amended with EDTA and other synthetic chelators was also demonstrated. The research indicates that the accumulation of metal in the shoots of B. juncea can be enhanced through the application of synthetic chelates to the soil, facilitating high biomass accumulation as well as metal up-take.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-865
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


  • heavy-metals
  • plants
  • zinc
  • iron


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