Antioxidant activities and metal acquisition in mycorrhizal plants growing in a heavy-metal multicontaminated soil amended with treated lignocellulosic agrowaste

Rosario Azcón, María del Carmen Perálvarez, Borbala Biró, Antonio Roldán, Juan Manuel Ruíz-Lozano

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The plant growth, nutrient acquisition, metal translocation and antioxidant activities [ascorbate peroxidase (APX), glutatione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)] were measured in plants growing in a heavy-metal (HM) multicontaminated soil inoculated with selected autochthonous microorganisms [arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus and/or plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB)] and/or amended with an Aspergillus niger-treated agrowaste. The treated agrowaste on its own increased root growth by 296% and shoot growth by 504% compared with non-treated control plants. Both chemical and biological treatments, particularly when combined, enhanced plant shoot and root development. The stimulation effect on plant biomass was concomitant with increased AM colonization, P and K assimilation, and reduced metal translocation from soil to plant shoot. The treated residue, particularly through interactions with AM inoculation, produced the expected bioremediation effect, leading to enhanced plant development and successful rehabilitation of contaminated soil. The enhancement of CAT, APX and GR activities caused by AM inoculation suggests that AM colonization helped plants to limit oxidative damage to biomolecules in response to metal stress. The response of the plant's antioxidant activities to the amendment appears to be related to enhanced plant biomass production. The application of amendments and/or microbial inoculations to enhance plant growth and reduce metal translocation in multicontaminated soil could be a promising strategy for remediating HM pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2009



  • Amendment
  • Antioxidants
  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis
  • Bacillus cereus
  • Metals contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Soil Science

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