Comparative Study on the Remediation Potential of Panicum Maximum and Axonopus Compressus in Zinc (Zn) Contaminated Soil

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Environmental Biology Research Unit, Cell Biology and Genetics Department, University of Lagos, P.O. Box 132, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria


Soil contamination by heavy metals has increased noticeably within the past years. Unlike organic compounds, metals cannot degrade; therefore effective cleanup is required to reduce its toxicity. This experiment was undertaken to investigate the comparative potential of Panicum maximum and Axonopus compressus to bioremediate zinc polluted soils, the impact of Zn on the antioxidant defense system of the plant, assaying for activities of antioxidants proteins. Zinc salts were mixed with soil at various concentrations 5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg, 20 mg/kg and 40 mg/kg in triplicates and control was setup. After 4 months, the plants (root, shoot and leaf) and soil were analyzed for morphological, biochemical parameters and Zn concentration. The root length of P. maximum and A. compressus decreased as the concentration of zinc increased. The least shoot length inhibition of A. compressus was 6.16% (5 mg/kg) while the highest shoot length inhibition was 40.14% (40 mg/kg). The least shoot length inhibition of Panicum maximum was 6.16% exposed to 5 mg/kg and the highest shoot length inhibition was 53.13% (40 mg/kg). There was significant reduction of the heavy metals in vegetated soils for P. maximum and A. compressus at the end of the study compared to the heavy metals in the soils at the beginning of the study (p<0.05). P. maximum, is a better removal of Zn than A. compressus, however, it was not significant. Glutathione levels varied significantly (p≤ 0.05) with respect to heavy metals. A. compressus has more effects on Glutathione activities than P. maximum. Zn caused a decrease in metallothionein level in P. maximum while A. compressus metallothionein level increased.


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