The enormous growth of industrialization, and the use of numerous aromatic compounds in dyestuffs, explosives, pesticides and pharmaceuticals has resulted in serious environmental pollution and has attracted considerable attention continuously over the last two decades. Many aromatic hydrocarbons, nitroaromatic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, diauxins and their derivatives are highly toxic, mutagenic and/or carcinogenic to natural microflora as well as to higher systems including humans. The increasing costs and limited efficiency of traditional physicochemical treatments of soil have spurred the development of new remediation technologies. Phytoremediation is emerging as an efficient treatment technology that uses plants to bioremediate pollutants from soil environments. Various modern tools and analytical devices have provided insight into the selection and optimization of remediation processes by various plant species. Sites heavily polluted with organic contaminants require hyperaccumulators, which could be developed by genetic engineering approaches. However, efficient hyperaccumulation by naturally occurring plants is also feasible and can be made practical by improving their nutritional and environmental requirements. Thus, phytoremediation of organics appears a very promising technology for the removal of contaminants from polluted soil. In this review, certain aspects of plant metabolism associated with phytoremediation of organic contaminants and their relevant phytoremediation efforts are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology