|Title||PHYTOREMEDIAL POTENTIAL OF Azadirachta indica A. Juss. FOR LEAD CONTAMINATION UNDER SALINE CONDITIONS|
|Authors||Zafar Hussain , Muhammad Zubair , Wasif Nouman , Irfan Ashraf , Maryam , Rahmatullah Qureshi, Muhammad Farrakh Nawaz and Khalil Ahmed Ansari|
Industrial heavy metal contamination is one of the today’s burning issues that pollute our soils and water resources. Lead (Pb) is one of the most toxic and hazardous element among them. Azadirachta indica A. Juss., is a multipurpose tree having fast growth rate that can potentially contribute to decontaminate and restore the environment. However, information about Pb-uptake by A. indica under saline conditions is not yet known. A hydroponic study was conducted to assess the salinity level along plant tolerance to lead (Pb) and its accumulation in A. indica. Seedlings were established in the solution culture owing high salinity level (20 d Sm-1) with necessary nutrients and two concentrations of lead i.e. Pb1 (10 mg L-1) and Pb2 (20 mg L-1). Results showed reduction in plant height (47% with Pb2), diameter (57% with Pb1), root length (41% with Pb2+salinity) and shoot dry weight (91% with Pb2+salinity) suggesting the reduced the plant growth as compared to control treatment. Under salinity and Pb stresses, tree grew well with no mortality in all the treatments. Moreover, noticeable variation was found in Pb accumulation among different plant organs such as: roots (21.5 mg kg-1 under Pb2) > shoots (7.6 mg kg-1 under Pb2+salinity) > and leaves (5.3 mg kg-1 under Pb2). Based on results it can be concluded that A. indica possesses phytoremedial potential when grown in salinity coupled with lead contamination and translocation of Pb uptake in its leaves.