Environ Monit Assess. 2021 Mar 13;193(4):186. doi: 10.1007/s10661-021-08976-5.
The present research was conducted to study the potential of cotton for the remediation of soils contaminated with Cd, to understand the biochemical basis of its tolerance to, and to investigate the plant-microbe interaction in the rhizosphere for enhancement of phytoextraction of Cd. Cotton (Bt RCH-2) was exposed to four Cd levels (0, 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg soil) in a completely randomised design and found that the plant could tolerate up to 200 mg/kg soil. Cd stress increased the total phenol, proline, and free amino acid contents in the plant leaf tissue compared with control but inhibited basal soil respiration, fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis, and activities of several enzymes viz. dehydrogenase, phosphatases, and β-glucosidase in the soil over control. The concentration of Cd in the shoot was less than the critical concentration of 100 µg/g dry weight, and bioconcentration and translocation factors were < 1 to classify the plant as a hyperaccumulator of Cd. This was further confirmed by another experiment in which the cotton plant was exposed various higher levels of Cd (200, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 mg/kg soil). Though the concentration of Cd in the shoot was > 100 µg g -1dw beyond 600 mg Cd/kg soil, the bioconcentration and translocation factors were < 1. The study on plant-microbe (Aspergillus awamori) interaction revealed that the fungus did not affect the absorption of Cd by cotton. It was concluded that the cotton was classified as an excluder of Cd and therefore could be suitable for the phytostabilization of Cd-contaminated soils.