Growth and lolerance evaluation of selected plants to crude oil contamination for rhizoremediation potentials in the Niger Delta

Monday Ubogu, Lucky O. Odokuma


Rhizoremediation (an evolving bioremediation technique) involves removal of pollutants from contaminated environment via mutual interaction of plant roots and associated microorganisms. Nevertheless, little is known about plant species in the Niger Delta that can be employed for this purpose. To investigate this, the following plant species Zea mays, Telfaira occidentalis, Saccharum officinarum, Kalanchoe pinnata, Phaseolus vulgaris, Arachis hypogaea, Phragmitis australis, Azolla pinnata and Eichornia crasssipes, were screened for growth and tolerance to 0, 1, 3 and 6 % w/w crude oil contamination for 120 days period to determine the influence of oil on plant germination, height, root length, leaf area, weights (fresh and dry), girth growth and survival/death time. With the exception of P. vulgaris and A. hypogaea, plant germination was delayed with increased concentration of oil. The effect of oil concentration on height, root length, leaf area, weights (fresh and dry) and girth growth varied with plant species (P ˂ 0.05). Among the nine plants tested only E. crassipes, P. australis and S. officinarum survived for the 120 days period of the study at the highest concentration of 6 % w/w contamination. These three surviving plants therefore have the potential for rhizoremediation of crude oil contaminated soils in the Niger Delta.


Contamination, crude oil, Niger Delta, plant species, rhizoremediation

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