Editor: David W.M. Leung

Recent Advances Towards Improved Phytoremediation of Heavy Metal Pollution

eBook: US $39 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $108
Printed Copy: US $89
Library License: US $156
ISBN: 978-1-60805-665-1 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-787-0 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2013
DOI: 10.2174/97816080578701130101

Introduction

Heavy metal pollution represents a global challenge to both public health and environmental sustainability. Any means to reduce heavy metal pollution in the environment is of considerable economic significance. The use of green plants to clean up heavy metal pollution is an environmentally friendly as well as a low-cost approach to the problem. This plant-based biotechnology is commonly known as ‘phytoremediation’. Presently, there is limited application of this technology because useful plants with enhanced heavy metal resistance/tolerance are still needed to assist remediation of environments polluted with heavy metals. A key to improved phytoremediation of heavy metal pollution lies in research seeking for a better understanding of the mechanism(s) of heavy metal resistance/tolerance in plants. This E-book presents a unique treatment of the topics that have never been comprehensively brought together before in a single advanced reference. The volume explores aspects of plant biology that are critical for employing phytoremedation techniques to combat heavy metal contamination such as the specific plant biology, seed biology, plant tissue culture and enzymology. This E-book will be a useful reference to plant biologists, biotechnologists and environmental engineers seeking information about phytoremediation of heavy metals from the environment.

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Science Edition, BIOSIS Previews, EBSCO.

Preface

A global environmental and public health issue is heavy or toxic metal pollution. Use of green plants to clean up heavy metal pollution is an environmentally friendly as well as a low-cost approach to the problem. This plant-based biotechnology to help to better manage this global public health concern is commonly known as phytoremediation. Presently, there is no wide-spread application of this technology because useful plants with enhanced resistance/tolerance to metal toxicity are still needed to assist remediation of toxic metal-contaminated environments. A key to improved phytoremediation of heavy metal pollution lies in research seeking for a better understanding of the mechanism(s) of heavy metal resistance/tolerance in plants.

This eBook is divided into two parts. In the first part, an introduction and an overview of the broad applications of phytoremediation were provided (Chapter 1), particularly useful for senior undergraduate, postgraduate students and non-plant discipline-based researchers interested in environmental biotechnology. This was followed by a closer examination of those research foci evaluating chemicals directly or indirectly (those released by microorganisms) for promoting phytoremediation potential of plants that are not commonly considered as model experimental plants systems (Chapters 1 to 3). In the second part, recent insights, largely at the molecular and genetic level, gained from the use of each of the several model experimental plants in relation to the general theme of improving phytoremediation potential of plants were reviewed in Chapters 4 to 7. The unique arrangement and treatment of the topics have never been brought together comprehensively in a single advanced resource book.

The different chapters were written by researchers who have recently contributed original research papers in the field of phytoremediation. Their contributed chapters in this eBook are, however, written at the levels intended to be useful to students (senior undergraduate and postgraduate), and researchers in plant physiology and biotechnology. In addition, soil scientists, environmental science students and researchers in environmental and contemporary natural resource engineering departments should also find this as a helpful resource.

David W.M. Leung
School of Biological Sciences
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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