Vegetable seed cleans up toxic soils

Irish scientists are looking at the vegetable oilseed rapeseed, which is currently being used as a raw material to produce biodiesel, to also help clean up soils that are contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic, copper, zinc and chromium.

By injecting the rapeseed plant with metal-resistant bacteria, not only can the oilseed deal with soil contamination because of the bacteria, the plant itself seems to thrive and has better yield, according to the researchers from the Institute of Technology in Carlow, Ireland.

The Carlow team plans to extend their study to include other commercial biofuel plants and different strains of metal resistant bacteria.

2 Responses to Vegetable seed cleans up toxic soils

  1. Biofuelsimon 16 September, 2008 at 10:46 am #

    What is not clear from this is whether the heavy metals are captured by the bacteria or find their way into the seeds of the plants or whether it would be possible to separate them out safely. I don’t think the world needs pre-leaded biofuels does it?

  2. Doris de Guzman 16 September, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    Good point. Maybe they found a way to isolate the contaminants on the leaves only and not affecting the seeds.

Leave a Reply