The application of plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) supports the growth of plants in contaminated soil while ureolytic bacteria can immobilise heavy metals by carbonate precipitation. Thus, dual treatment with such bacteria may be beneficial for plant growth and bioremediation in contaminated soil. This study aimed to determine whether the PGPR Pseudomonas fluorescens could work in synergy with ureolytic bacteria to assist with the remediation of cadmium (Cd)- and lead (Pb)-contaminated soils. Pot experiments were conducted to grow radish plants in Cd- and Pb-contaminated soils treated with PGPR P. fluorescens and the results were compared with dual inoculation of P. fluorescens combined with ureolytic Staphylococcus epidermidis HJ2. The removal rate of the metals from the soil was more than 83% for Cd and Pb by the combined treatment compared to 17% by PGPR alone. Further, the dual treatment reduced the metal accumulation in the roots by more than 80%. The translocation factors for Cd and Pb in plant tissues in both treatments remained the same, suggesting that PGPR combined with the carbonate precipitation process does not hamper the transfer of essential metal ions into plant tissues from the soil.
- Heavy metals