Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Newsletter
Zones
Advanced Composites
LeftNav
Aerospace
LeftNav
Amorphous Metal Structures
LeftNav
Analysis and Simulation
LeftNav
Asbestos and Substitutes
LeftNav
Associations, Research Organisations and Universities
LeftNav
Automation Equipment
LeftNav
Automotive
LeftNav
Biomaterials
LeftNav
Building Materials
LeftNav
Bulk Handling and Storage
LeftNav
CFCs and Substitutes
LeftNav
Company
LeftNav
Components
LeftNav
Consultancy
LeftNav
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
Pro Engineering Zone
 
 
 
News

Fungi can help plants cope with toxic metals in the soil and clean up pollution say scientists

Society For General Microbiology : 13 September, 2005  (Company News)
Friendly fungi living on the roots of plants can help them find nutrients for themselves and the plants, deal with toxic metals in the soil, and help clean up contaminated sites according to research presented today at the Society for General Microbiology's 157th Meeting at Keele University, UK.
Friendly fungi living on the roots of plants can help them find nutrients for themselves and the plants, deal with toxic metals in the soil, and help clean up contaminated sites according to research presented today at the Society for General Microbiology's 157th Meeting at Keele University, UK.

Scientists from the University of Dundee and Aberdeen looked at the way Scots pine trees and the fungi that live on their roots act together to find and use phosphates as fertilisers. The fungus makes powerful acids which dissolve compounds of metals such as copper, lead, zinc and cadmium it finds in the soil and frees up phosphates needed by the tree as fertiliser.

'The first stage of this process may actually increase the pollution in a contaminated site,' says Dr Marina Fomina from the University of Dundee. 'However toxic metals freed up by the fungus can also be taken in and stored by them, protecting the host plant's roots. This makes the soil safer for the plant, allowing trees like the Scots pine to spread on contaminated sites, which in turn provides more places for the fungus to live.'

The research has increased the scientists' understanding of the way toxic metals move through soils and provides a valuable insight into the way brownfield sites such as old mine workings, gasworks or timber processing yards could be cleaned up in the future.

The science may have important financial implications as developers seek to find ways to reclaim and regenerate polluted sites for housing and other uses. It will also help agricultural industries as they replant forests and crops, but must prevent toxic metals from entering our foods or water supply.
Bookmark and Share
 
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
 
   © 2012 NewMaterials.com
Netgains Logo