Bioremediation of Pollutants
Yongming LUO
(Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing PR China)

This presentation gives general introduction of bioremediation of pollutants in the environment, with particular emphasis in recent research progresses and development trends in soil bioremediation of heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants and petroleum in China. Bioremediation generally covers phytoremedaiton and microbial remediation. Phytoremdiation including phytoextraction by using hyperaccumulating plants, phytomobilsation by ennery crops, phytovatilisation by genetically-modified genotypes has been adopted for decontamination of toxic metals in soils. Field demonstration shows significant removal of toxic metals such as As or Cd by using hyperaccumulators (e.g. Chinese brake fern or sedum alfredii). Microbial remediation including rhizo-remediation and myco-remediation by inoculation of effective fungi and bacteria has been mainly studied for degradation of persistent organic pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soil. In-situ and ex-situ bioremediation technologies have also been developed for cleanup of petroleum-contaminate soil. Natural attenuation has a remarkable reduction in chlorinated pesticides in agricultural soil. Hybrid remedaiton techniques are being studied for restoration of mixed polluted land. Future trends in bioremediation reserach and management in China should cover the following aspects:(1) more attention to phytomanagement of organic pollutants; (2) from empirical study to mechanistic study to obtain better understanding of underlying processes at a molecular level, (3) from laboratory simulation to real world situation for making bioremediation work in the field, (4) multidisciplinary study for further development, optimization, and site demonstration of biotechnology; and (5) enforcement of soil enviornmental risk assessment and quality standards and implementation of soil pollution prevention and remediation legislation.

2. Background Review Article

[1] William P. 2000. Plant power against pollution. Nature, 407, 298 - 299

[2] Ma L Q, Komar K M, Tu C, Zhang W H, Cai Y, Kennelley E D. 2001. A fern that hyperaccumulates arsenic - A hardy, versatile, fast-growing plant helps to remove arsenic from contaminated soils. Nature, 409, (6820), 579-579

[3] Singer A C, Crowley D E, Thompson I P. 2003, Secondary plant metabolites in phytoremediation and biotransformation. Trends Biotechnol. 21: 123-130

[4] Tungittiplakorn W, Lion L W, Cohen C, Kim J Y. 2004. Engineered polymeric nanoparticles for soil remediation. Environmental Science & Technology, 38, (5), 1605-1610

[5] Wu C H,Wood T K, Mulchandani A, Chen W. 2006. Engineering plant-microbe symbiosis for rhizoremediation of heavy metals. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 72, (2), 1129-34

[6] Rylott E L, Jackson R G, Edwards J, Womack G. L, Seth-Smith H M B. 2006. An explosive-degrading cytochrome P450 activity and its targeted application for the phytoremediation of RDX. Nature Biotechnology, 24, (2), 216-219

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