Phytoextraction efficiency of Arabidopsis halleri is driven by the plant and not by soil metal concentration

Charlotte C. Dietrich, Susan Tandy, Kamila Murawska-Wlodarczyk, Angelika Banaś, Urszula Korzeniak, Barbara Seget, Alicja Babst-Kostecka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The hyperaccumulation trait allows some plant species to allocate remarkable amounts of trace metal elements (TME) to their foliage without suffering from toxicity. Utilizing hyperaccumulating plants to remediate TME contaminated sites could provide a sustainable alternative to industrial approaches. A major hurdle that currently hampers this approach is the complexity of the plant-soil relationship. To better anticipate the outcome of future phytoremediation efforts, we evaluated the potential for soil metal-bioavailability to predict TME accumulation in two non-metallicolous and two metallicolous populations of the Zn/Cd hyperaccumulator Arabidopsis halleri. We also examined the relationship between a population's habitat and its phytoextraction efficiency. Total Zn and Cd concentrations were quantified in soil and plant material, and bioavailable fractions in soil were quantified via Diffusive Gradients in Thin-films (DGT). We found that shoot TME accumulation varied independent from both total and bioavailable soil TME concentrations in metallicolous individuals. In fact, hyperaccumulation patterns appear more plant- and less soil-driven: one non-metallicolous population proved to be as efficient in accumulating Zn on non-polluted soil as the metallicolous populations in their highly contaminated environment. Our findings demonstrate that in-situ information on plant phytoextraction efficiency is indispensable to optimize site-specific phytoremediation measures. If successful, hyperaccumulating plant biomass may provide valuable source material for application in the emerging field of green chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131437
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Arabidopsis halleri
  • DGT
  • Hyperaccumulation
  • Phytoextraction efficiency
  • Pseudometallophyte
  • Trace metal elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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