Hairy Root Studies in Phytoremediation and Phytomining pp. 591-612
Authors: (Pauline M. Doran, School of Biological Sciences and Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Australia)
Abstract: Because plant roots are in direct contact with pollutants in contaminated soil or water, their responses to toxic substances are of particular importance in phytoremediation and phytomining research. Genetically transformed hairy roots offer many practical advantages in experimental studies, such as ease of initiation, culture, and maintenance, indefinite propagation of material derived from the same parent plant, and genotypic and phenotypic stability. Hairy roots have been applied mainly in metabolic studies of xenobiotic biotransformations and degradation in plants, and for determining the responses of plant tissues to toxic heavy metals. The aim of this chapter is to review the applications of hairy roots in phytoremediation and phytomining research. Experimental results are also presented to demonstrate the capacity of hairy root cultures to hyperaccumulate heavy metals such as cadmium and nickel, allowing practical examination of the biological mechanisms responsible for elevated heavy metal tolerance in hyperaccumulator plant species.