Potential of indigenous microbes as helping agents for


1 O. Rafieyan*1, A. A. Darvishsefat2, S. Babaii1, A. Mataji1

2 M. Rahmanian1


The aim of this study was to assess the effects of heavy metal tolerant soil microbes inoculation on growth and metal uptake of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), couch grass (Triticum repens) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa) in a soil spiked (and subsequently aged) with increasing concentrations of Pb. A soil sample (soil 1) was spiked with increasing (0 to 1500 mg/kg) concentrations of Pb and incubated for a seven months period. Another soil sample with a historical background of metal contamination (soil 2), having heavy metals-resistant microbial communities, also was taken and used as inocula. The plants were grown in pots containing contaminated soils. At the end of growth period, plants shoots were harvested, washed, oven-dried, ground and analyzed for Pb. The results showed a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in plants yield by increasing soil Pb concentration and inoculation of stress-adapted microbes further increased this reduction. This could be attributed to the increased access of plants to the relatively immobile Pb existed in the studied calcareous soil as well as to more metal contaminant absorption caused by soil microbial activity. In general, introduction of the microbes also resulted in lower Pb uptake by the studied plants


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