Gateway for:

Member Countries

Selection of Heavy Metal Accumulating Plants


Cell Selection of Perspective Plant Species - Heavy Metal Hyperaccumulators for Phytoremediation of the Environment from Anthropogenic Contamination

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-OTH/Other/Agriculture

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Ryzhova T B

Leading Institute
Institute of Plant Physiology, Genetics and Bioengineering, Kazakstan, Almaty

Supporting institutes

  • JSK Biomedpreparat, Kazakstan, Stepnogorsk\nInstitute of Botany and Phytointroductoion / Altay Botanic Garden, Kazakstan, Leninogorsk

Project summary

The aim of the project is cell selection of perspective plant species for heavy metal (HM) hyperaccumulation, regeneration and fixation of heavy metal hyperaccumulating ability, investigation of mechanisms of HM hyperaccumulation, tolerance of plants to HM presence and discovery of possible mechanisms of soil detoxication.

The following tasks will be be implemented to achieve the aim of the project:

1. Screening of plants representing Kazakhstan’s flora concerning to heavy metal stability and metal accumulating ability. Investigation of physiological and biochemical processes in the plants growing in heavy metal contaminated soil;

2. Cell selection of perspective plant species concerning to hyperaccumulation of heavy metals in order to get regenerants and to test them in field conditions;

3. Investigation of mechanisms of HM hyperaccumulation and plant tolerance to heavy metals.

The problem of technogeneous contamination of soil is extremely urgent for many regions including Kazakhstan where great area is contaminated with heavy metals.

Phytomelioration seems to be the most effective and economically efficient method to clean the environment from harmful substances. That is why researchers pay more and more attention now to relatively new way of plant usage for cleaning soil from contamination. (H.Kuzz, 1997; R. Chaney, 1998; M.Lazat, 1998). Among a number of expensive physical and chemical methods for soil cleaning from heavy metals (burying, fixation, extraction) the possibility to use technology of phyto-remediation is highly assessed in the world. The last technology uses the ability of plants to accumulate heavy metals and to convert them into safe compounds (D.Gleba, 1996).

The use of cell selection method for the plants that grow in environmentally unfavorable regions of Kazakhstan seems to be perspective. The advantage of the method of cell engineering, as compared to classic selection method, is possibility to get perspective plants - heavy metal hyperaccumulators within short period of time. The method also has advantage over gene engineering methods being much cheaper one.

The project meets ISTC objectives: «To support basic and applied researches and development of technologies for peaceful purposes especially in the sphere of environment protection, power generation and nuclear safety».

Participants of the project.

Institute of Plant Physiology, Genetics and Bioengineering MES RK. Laboratory of Root Nutrition. The staff of the laboratory has experience in controlling heavy metals concentration in plant organs and sub-Cell substances. The laboratory has already completed investigations on Co-, Mn-, Zn- binding peptides and fluoride influence on plant growth, found out fluoride accumulating plants in the zones with technogeneous contamination of the environment. The laboratory developed methods for investigation of heavy metals influence on plant vegetation and technology for obtaining of Stevia rebaudiana Cell suspension.

Institute of Plant Physiology, Genetics and Bioengineering MES RK. Laboratory of Cell Engineering. The laboratory developed a technology for getting Medicago sativa, Hordeum vulgare, Triticum aestivum, etc. cell suspension. The laboratory developed methods for inducing of embryogenesis in non-differentiated culture of callus tissue or suspended cell culture.

Altai Botanic Garden of the Institute of Botany and Phytointroduction MES RK. The staff has developed a number of selection and agrotechnical methods for dealing with plants from technogeneous zones contaminated with heavy metals. The Garden has a collection of cereals stable to unfavorable environment (drought, high and low temperature, salinity, heavy metals in the soil).

Expected results: Selection of perspective species, cell selection, regeneration and fixation of the property on hyperaccumulation of heavy metal ions. Experimental data for discovery of the mechanism of heavy metal hyperaccumulation and for possible mechanisms of detoxification will be obtained. The plants – heavy metal hyperaccumulators will be used to clean heavy metal contaminated soils.

Technical approach and methodology.

Task 1. Plant seeds will be cultivated in factorstate conditions ( t – 250°C, photo period – 16 hours). Concentration of heavy metals in the plants cultivated in medium with heavy metals will be determined by atomic-absorption spectrophotometer. Physiological parameters of the plants (length of stems, leaves and roots, dry biomass) according to the standard technique also will be examined.

Task 2. Callus tissue will be cultivated in light room in controlled conditions. For cultivation of suspensions we plan to use shaker with 150 circles per minute rate. To induce formation of somatic embryoids we plan to use optimum nutrient media. The cell suspension will be synchronized by passing through screens with different hole diameter. Regeneration of the embryoides into plants will be carried out in hormone free agarized medium. Grafting of the regenerated plants will be carried out every month.

Task3. We plan to employ atomic-absorption method, gas-liquid chromatography and other types of chromatography (HPLC) with high resolution.