Phytoremediation of radiostrontium ((90)Sr) and radiocesium ((137)Cs) using giant milky weed (Calotropis gigantea R.Br.) plants.
Chemosphere. 2006 Dec;65(11):2071-3. Epub 2006 Jul 28. PMID: 16876232
Nuclear Agriculture and Biotechnology Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400085, India. [email protected]
Potential of plants to remove radionuclides/toxic elements from soils and solutions can be successfully applied for removal of important radionuclides such as strontium-90 ((90)Sr) and cesium-137 ((137)Cs). When uptake of (137)Cs and (90)Sr by Calotropis gigantea plants incubated in distilled water spiked with the radionuclides either alone or in combination was studied, it was found to have a high efficiency for the removal of (90)Sr, with 90% being removed from solutions (5 x 10(3)kBql(-1)) within 24h of incubation. However, in case of (137)Cs, about 44% could be removed from solutions (5 x 10(3)kBql(-1)) at the end of 168h of incubation. Accumulation of (90)Sr and (137)Cs was higher in roots compared to shoots. The plants could remediate both (90)Sr and (137)Cs when they were added together to the solution. When two months old plants were incubated in low level nuclear waste, 99% of activity disappeared at the end of 15 days. The present study suggests that C. gigantea could be used as a potential candidate plant for phytoremediation of (90)Sr and (137)Cs.