Vetiver grass: An environment clean-up tool for heavy metal contaminated iron ore mine-soil

Banerjee R, Goswami P, Khanindra P, Mukherjee A
Ecological Engineering, 2016



Vetiver grass – Chyrsopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty is a known plant tolerant to heavy metals and its use as an alternative method for rehabilitation of iron ore mine-soil has been investigated.


A pot experiment was performed over a period of three months and the performance of vetiver grass on heavy metal-rich soil from iron ore mine was assessed. The presence of the following heavy metals – Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Ni, Cr and Al were assessed in mine-soil and their uptake by vetiver grass system was evaluated. In addition, oxidative and genotoxic stress were used to monitor the changes over the period.


Physico-chemical characterization and metal analysis revealed that vetiver plant is a good phytostabilizer. The plant is a potential accumulator of heavy metals and the root parts of the plant accumulated higher metal concentrations than the shoot. The high proportions of metals inhibited the chlorophyll content of leaves, but stimulated the accumulation of proline and lipid peroxidation. Enhanced activities of catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (GPOD) and glutathione (GSH) implied that different mechanisms existed to detoxify reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the shoot of the plants. Genotoxicity assays demonstrated the absence of genetic instability or DNA damage in the plants.


Vetiver can be used as an excellent candidate for remediation and restoration of iron-ore mine spoil-dumps.


Banerjee R, Goswami P, Khanindra P, et al. Vetiver grass: An environment clean-up tool for heavy metal contaminated iron ore mine-soil. Ecol Eng. 2016;90:25-34.

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