Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Rhizosphere bacteria enhance the accumulation of selenium and mercury in wetland plants.

Abstract

In greenhouse pot experiments, salt marsh bulrush (Scirpus robustus) and rabbitfoot grass (Polypogon monspeliensis) plants were treated with ampicillin to inhibit rhizosphere bacteria or were untreated and were supplied with Na2SeO4 or HgCl2. Roots of ampicillin-treated plants had significantly lower concentrations of Se and Hg than untreated plants. These results were confirmed by inoculating axenic salt marsh bulrush plants with bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of plants collected from the field; these plants accumulated significantly more Se and Hg than uninoculated plants. It is concluded that rhizosphere bacteria can increase the efficiency of Se and Hg phytoremediation by promoting the accumulation of Se and Hg in tissues of wetland plants.