Publication details

Calcium-enriched biochar modulates cadmium uptake depending on external cadmium dose



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Environmental Pollution
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Keywords Bioremediation; Heavy metals; Krebs acids; Oxidative stress; Phenols
Description The impact of calcium-enriched biochar (BC, containing Ca, Al, Fe and P as dominant elements in the range of 6.9-1.3% with alkaline pH) obtained from sewage sludge (0.1 or 0.5% in the final soil) on cadmium-induced toxicity (final dose of 1.5 mg Cd/kg in control and 4.5 or 16.5 mg Cd/kg soil in low and high Cd treatment) was tested in medicinal plant Matricaria chamomilla. Low Cd dose had typically less negative impact than high Cd dose at the level of minerals and metabolites and the effect of BC doses often differed. Contrary to expectations, 0.5% BC with a high Cd dose increased Cd accumulation in plants about 2-fold. This was reflected in higher signals of reactive oxygen species, but especially the high dose of BC increased the amount of antioxidants (ascorbic acid and non-protein thiols), minerals and amino acids in shoots and/or roots and usually mitigated the negative effect of Cd. Surprisingly, the relationship between BC and soluble phenols was negative at high BC + high Cd dose, whereas the effect of Cd and BC on organic acids (mainly tartaric acid) differed in shoots and roots. Interestingly, BC alone applied to the control soil (1.5 mg total Cd/kg) reduced the amount of Cd in the plants by about 30%. PCA analyses confirmed that metabolic changes clearly distinguished the high Cd + high BC treatment from the corresponding Cd/BC treatments in both shoots and roots. Thus, it is clear that the effect of biochar depends not only on its dose but also on the amount of Cd in the soil, suggesting the use of Ca-rich biochar both for phytoremediation and safer food production.

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