Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Oil seed rape grown for biofuel can help clean up toxic soils

10.09.2008
Oil seed rape grown for biofuel in Ireland could help clean up contaminated soils, scientists heard today (Wednesday 10 September 2008) at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting being held this week at Trinity College, Dublin.

Using plants to help clean up heavily polluted soils has been successfully tested for many years and shown to be a cheap and environmentally friendly way to clear heavy metals such as arsenic, copper, zinc and chromium from contaminated land.

The main problem with the method has been the amount of time it takes to grow successive crops of plants to clean up an area. Now scientists may have come up with a solution by combining heavy metal tolerant bacteria with plants used to make biofuels such as oil seed rape.

"We discovered that inoculating the plants with metal resistant bacteria provided them with sufficient protection that their seeds germinated better and their growth was enhanced. The plant leaves accumulate the metals, the bacteria deal with the contamination, and the plants seem to benefit from some of their activity," says Olivia Odhiambo from the Institute of Technology, Carlow, Ireland.

Oilseed rape is a member of the Brassica family, which also includes cabbages and Brussels sprouts. It is well suited to Irish growing conditions and is already widely grown by farmers for biodiesel production.

"As some of the bacterial strains we tested are showing enhanced growth properties in the crop, this also means greater plant production and more biodiesel," says Olivia Odhiambo. "This is good news for owners of land that cannot currently be used for food plants due to heavy metal contamination. However, this technology could also have much wider implications in improving biofuel crop production nationally and internationally by simply helping farmers grow more fuel per hectare."

The scientists have looked at two types of metal tolerant bacteria which colonise the leaves of the oil seed rape plants and one metal tolerant type that lives in the roots of other brassicas and found that all three were successful in promoting the plant growth, although they did show different tolerances to different heavy metals. The Carlow team now hopes to extend their study to include other commercial biofuel plants and different strains of metal resistant bacteria.

Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Combination of Resistance Genes Offers Better Protection for Wheat against Powdery Mildew
22.01.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht New study shows producers where and how to grow cellulosic biofuel crops
17.01.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>