Want to clean contaminated soils with plants that accumulate metal

A scientist at Purdue University in the USA has been able to identify and clone the gene that contains information on the ability to accumulate metals from different plants. The genes have been extracted from the Thlaspi goesingense plant, which inhabits the Austrian Alps and accumulates nickel.

David E. According to the salsa, some 350 species are known able to store metals, which accumulate nickel, zinc, copper, cadmium, selenium and magnesium, among others. In a normal plant, the nickel concentration can range from 10 to 100 per million. In Thlaspi geosingense can reach 10,000 per million.

The aim of scientists is that the added plants of the gene can be used to clean lands contaminated with metals. Natural metal accumulating plants are not suitable for this function, as they are small and their growth is slow. Therefore, they intend to add the cloned gene to the most appropriate plants, such as herbs.

Scientists are not very clear about the cause of metal accumulation. They accumulate in vegetable cell vacuoles, but they still do not know very well why some plants accumulate more metals than others. According to one theory, it seems that plants use them as weapons against the attack of certain insects.

Eusko Jaurlaritzako Industria, Merkataritza eta Turismo Saila