Zea mays plant as a suitable phytoremediator for soil matrix contaminated with cadmium
As a green technique for environmental protection and sustainability, Zea mays capacity to bioaccumulate cadmium was studied. The impacts of cadmium on some plant growth parameters such as vine length, leaf area, fresh shoot weight and fresh root weight were monitored for the Zea mays over a period of 28days. It was observed that the level of cadmium (Cd) sorbed by the Zea mays seedling increased with increase in cadmium (Cd) load in the soil material. The uptake efficiency which ranged from 24.8-54.6% decreases with increase in the cadmium level in the soil. The plant was more sensitive to cadmium stress at the early stage of development (7day old seedlings) than at later stage (21day old seedlings) though, germination rate was not significantly affected by cadmium stress. Biomass production as well as the leaf area was not significantly affected by the cadmium stress on the maize seedlings. It was also observed that amount of cadmium translocated to the shoot was three times the amount accumulated at the root hence, little or no potential effect on the crop yield and quality. Zea mays may be used as phytoremediator for soil contaminated with cadmium.
Key Words: Zea mays, growth parameters, phytotoxicity, uptake efficiency and cadmium