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The contamination of soils by heavy metals from the mining industry nowadays is one of the greatest threats to environment and human health. The cleaning of polluted soils using cost-effective and eco-friendly methods such as phytoextraction has wide public recognition. Considering the above-mentioned ones, the objectives of the present study were the identification of Cu and Mo accumulation capability and the phytoextraction potential of Melilotus officinalis and Amaranthus retroflexus as well as the determination of the influence of ammonium nitrate and EDTA on phytoextraction effectiveness. The contaminated soil samples for phytoremediation experiments under ex situ conditions were collected from the surroundings of the Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine, Armenia. During the studies, it was found out that M. officinalis and A. retroflexus are capable of growing in polluted soils. M. officinalis grown in polluted soil had greater ability to accumulate heavy metals in roots, while the ability to transport the copper to aboveground parts was more pronounced in A. retroflexus. During the growing of these plant species for phytoextraction of soils contaminated by copper, it is necessary to use chelates, in particular the EDTA, for the enhancement of the effectiveness of phytoextraction process. EDTA due to chelating influence increased the availability of copper for plants and its mobility in them that lead to greater accumulation of this metal in shoots. The application of chelates did not have a significant impact on molybdenum accumulation intensity in plants; therefore, in case of this metal, it is unreasonable to use additional chelating compounds.


Karen A Ghazaryan, Hasmik S Movsesyan, Tatiana M Minkina, Svetlana N Sushkova, Vishnu D Rajput. The identification of phytoextraction potential of Melilotus officinalis and Amaranthus retroflexus growing on copper- and molybdenum-polluted soils. Environmental geochemistry and health. 2021 Apr;43(4):1327-1335

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PMID: 31140132

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