Scientists have found a herbal remedy for radioactive contamination of the soil

(ORDO NEWS) — In tropical and subtropical regions around the world, Portulaca sesuvium grows – an unremarkable plant with small, fleshy leaves.

However, now scientists have discovered that it can solve one of the main environmental problems – to clean the soil around nuclear power plants from radioactive cesium.

Portulacoid Sesuvium ( Sesuvium portulacastrum ) is a perennial creeping plant that can grow on dry, salt-rich sea coasts. It had no special practical significance for a person – at least until recently.

Now, scientists have found that this is not a particularly remarkable plant – a “hyperaccumulator” of cesium , capable of absorbing this metal from the soil and accumulating it in the stem and leaves.

Sesuvium has added to the list of plants that can be used for phytoremediation of soils contaminated with cesium-137, the most dangerous isotope of cesium that can cause infertility and cancer in humans.

To find out how effective sesuvium is in cleaning contaminated soils, scientists led by Ganesh Nikalje from the University of Mumbai (India) exposed young plants to various concentrations of cesium chloride.

It turned out that the sesuvium feels great even when treated with a solution containing 25 milligrams of cesium per liter of water, actively accumulates it in its leaves and stems and massively produces antioxidant enzymes .

Now, perhaps, this plant will be massively grown in places contaminated with radioactive cesium, in particular around nuclear power plants.

This cleaning method, which is both simple and cost-effective, will allow not only to reduce the area of ​​radioactive contamination, but also subsequently, having collected the green mass of the sesuvium, to extract the accumulated cesium from it.

Scientists have found a herbal remedy for radioactive contamination of the soil 2
Pistia telorezovidnaya is another plant that can accumulate various metals and even refined products in its body

Going forward, the researchers plan to study the exact molecular mechanism of sesuvium resistance to high soil cesium concentrations and conduct field trials to test its effectiveness.


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