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Rhizoremediation: A Beneficial Plant-Microbe Interaction

January 2004 , Volume 17 , Number  1
Pages  6 - 15

Irene Kuiper , Ellen L. Lagendijk , Guido V. Bloemberg , and Ben J. J. Lugtenberg

Leiden University, Institute of Biology Leiden, Wassenaarseweg 64, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands

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Accepted 10 September 2003.

Worldwide, contamination of soil and ground water is a severe problem. The negative effects of pollutants on the environment and on human health are diverse and depend on the nature of the pollution. The search for alternative methods for excavation and incineration to clean polluted sites resulted in the application of bioremediation techniques. In this review, we describe some generally accepted bioremediation tools and subsequently focus on the combination of two approaches, phytoremediation and bioaugmentation, resulting in rhizoremediation. During rhizoremediation, exudates derived from the plant can help to stimulate the survival and action of bacteria, which subsequently results in a more efficient degradation of pollutants. The root system of plants can help to spread bacteria through soil and help to penetrate otherwise impermeable soil layers. The inoculation of pollutant-degrading bacteria on plant seed can be an important additive to improve the efficiency of phytoremediation or bioaugmentation.

Additional keywords: consortium, Pseudomonas, root exudate.

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society