Monday, November 13, 2006

Screening Canola Varieties for Nutrients and Phytoremediation Efficiency.

Celeste P. Bell, Ernst Cebert, Rufina Ward, Zachary Senwo, Rudy Pacumbaba Jr., and Udai Bishnoi. Dept of Plant and Soil Sciences, Alabama A&M Univ, PO Box 1208, Normal, AL 35762

Species of the Brassicaceae family may be excellent for uptake of heavy metals and nutrients. In this study, we evaluated the efficiency of eleven promising winter canola (Brassica napus) cultivars for their nutrient (Al, Ca, K, Mg, Mn, N, Na, S and P) uptake in the field and uptake of heavy metals (Se, Cd, Cu, Fe, Zn, and Cr) in the greenhouse. In the field study, three plants cultivar-1 replication-1 were randomly sampled at three different growth stages (rosette, anthesis and senescence) and partitioned into different parts, e.g., leaves, roots, stems, flowers, pods and seeds, to determine above-and below-ground biomass, and accumulation of nutrients. In the greenhouse study, seedlings of all the cultivars were evaluated using four different heavy metal concentrations (20, 30, 40, and 50 ppm) in comparison with an untreated control. Preliminary data indicate significant variations among cultivars in root (P< 0.0001) and stem (P = 0.0335) biomass production. The cultivar Titan produced significantly higher per plant biomass (11.3g dry weight plant-1) while cultivar Kronos produced the least (5.5g dry weight plant-1). Cultivars and harvest stages showed significant differences for uptake of nutrients. The cultivar Kronos, which produced the least biomass, showed the highest accumulation of Al, Zn, Fe and Mn in its tissues. The differences between biomass production and nutrient uptake among the canola cultivars may identify their genetic potential for phytoremediation.

Handout (.ppt format, 3091.0 kb)