Mechanisms of Heavy Metal Sequestration in Soils: Plant-Microbe Interactions and Organic Matter Aging
Mechanisms of Heavy Metal Sequestration in Soils: Plant-Microbe Interactions and Organic Matter Aging The myriad of human activities including strategic and energy development at various DOE installations have resulted in the contamination of soils and waterways that can seriously threaten human and ecosystem health. Development of efficacious and economical remediation technologies is needed to ameliorate these immensely costly problems. Bioremediation (both plant and microbe-based) has promising potential to meet this demand but still requires advances in fundamental knowledge. For bioremediation of heavy metals, the three-way interaction of plant root, microbial community, and soil organic matter (SOM)1 in the rhizosphere is critically important for long-term sustainability but often underconsidered. Particularly urgent is the need to understand processes that lead to metal ion stabilization in soils, which is crucial to all of the goals of bioremediation: removal, stabilization, and transformation. This project will build on the knowledge that we have generated on the role of root exudation and metabolism for metal mobilization and accumulation, to address the following objectives: (1) Identify molecular markers and characterize the chemical nature of recalcitrant SOM pools that are involved in belowground metal ion interactions, which are likely to be markers for sustainable sequestration; (2) Utilize (1) to determine plant and microbial factors that contribute to sustainable metal sequestration or more »
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