Amanda Son

Session 3
Board Number

Phytoremediation potential of Beta vulgaris L. cultivars

The agriculture industry faces the issue of soil salinity. Plants exposed to high salt concentrations exhibit growth inhibition as it becomes difficult for roots to absorb water. Phytoremediation is a possible solution to help remove excess salt. The process involves the use of plants to remove pollutants from soil. One plant species that could be viable is beet (Beta vulgaris L.) due to their mild tolerance to salt. Beets after being grown in salty agricultural fields may possibly be used for sugar production and animal feed to maximize its usage. Five beet cultivars groups were tested under greenhouse conditions to determine intake of sodium and chloride ions from the soil. For each cultivar group, plants were planted in soil that was treated with different concentrations of salt water (50 mM and 100 mM). It was found that all the cultivar groups were able to sequester significant amounts of sodium and chloride into its biomass. The barese beet and sugar beet showed the highest sequestration of sodium and chloride ions in aboveground biomass. Out of the roughly 1.20 g of salt added per pot, the barese beet could reduce 13.73% of salt per plant harvested with 52.5 mg of sodium and 111 mg of chloride removed from the 50 mM soil. At the same salt treatment, this beet was found to contain 12.66% in dry weight of sodium and chloride. In the dry biomass, the sugar beet was found to contain 14.77% in weight of sodium and chloride. The harvest of sugar beet aboveground biomass could reduce the salt content of the 50 mM salt treated soil by 15.74% of the salt per plant with 72.0 mg of sodium and 116.3 mg of chloride removed. Based on the data, it would take around seven growing seasons to fully remove sodium and chloride ions using sugar beets and eight seasons with barese beets. However, all of the beet cultivar groups show potential for use in phytoremediation of saline soil.