Genetic Biodiversity of Maize and Sunflower Commercial Cultivars and their Phytoextraction Capability of a Multi-Metal Artificially Polluted Soil pp. 631-650
Authors: (Daniela Baldantoni, Angela Cicatelli, Stefano Castiglione, Dipartimento di Chimica, UniversitÓ degli Studi di Salerno, Fisciano, SA, Italy)
Abstract: Phytoextraction of heavy metals (HMs) is a promising technology that uses plants to remove pollutants from soil. Two high biomass yield crops, maize and sunflower, with their ability to accumulate HMs, have been widely used to remediate contaminated soils. Nine commercial cultivars of maize and three of sunflower were characterized for their Genetic Bio-Diversity (GBD) using two different molecular approaches: Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP). A pot experiment was subsequently carried out to estimate the phytoextraction capacity of three cultivars for each plant species grown on multi-metal (copper and zinc) artificially contaminated soil. The HM accumulation was estimated in all three plant organs: root, stem and leaf. The results of the molecular analysis showed a considerable GBD among all tested cultivars. Moreover, a highly significant difference was observed among cultivars for their HM extraction capability. In both species, the highest metal concentration was detected in roots, followed by stems and leaves; sunflower cultivars exhibited the highest potential for the removal of HMs from a multi-metal polluted soil.