Title:¨Synergistic effect of organo-mineral amendments and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on the establishment of vegetation cover and amelioration of mine tailings¨ Partners involved: UCP-CRP Publication data: L.Benidire, A.Madline, S.I.A.Pereira, P.M.L.Castro and A.Boularbah (2021) Chemosphere, Volume 262, 127803 Link (Open Access)
benidire et al 2021 chemosphere
Abstract: Mine tailings pose a huge hazard for environmental and human health, and the establishment of vegetation cover is crucial to reduce pollutant dispersion for the surroundings. However, their hostile physicochemical conditions hamper plant growth, compromising phytoremediation strategies. This study aims to investigate the role of organo-mineral amendments and plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on the improvement of mine tailings properties and Lolium perenne L. (ryegrass) growth. Plants were grown in mine tailings mixed with an agricultural soil (1:1), 10% compost, and supplied with two different inorganic amendments – rock phosphate (6%) or lime (3%), and inoculated with the rhizobacterial strains Advenella kashmirensis BKM20 (B1) and Mesorhizobium tamadayense BKM04 (B2). The application of organo-mineral amendments ameliorated tailings characteristics, which fostered plant growth and further enhanced soil fertility and microbial activity. These findings were consistent with the increase of total organic carbon levels, with the higher numbers of heterotrophic and phosphate solubilizing bacteria, and higher dehydrogenase and urease activities, found in these substrates after plant establishment. Plant growth was further boosted by PGPR inoculation, most noticeable by co-inoculation of both strains. Moreover, inoculated plants showed increased activities for several antioxidant enzymes (catalase, peroxidase, polyphenoloxidase, and glutathione reductase) which indicate a reinforced antioxidant system.
The application of agricultural soil, compost and lime associated with the inoculation of a mixture of PGPR proved to enhance the establishment of vegetation cover, thus promoting the stabilization of Kettara mine tailings. Nonetheless, further studies are needed in order to confirm its effectiveness under field conditions.