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GENOMIC APPLICATION IN THE PHYTOREMEDIATION OF LEAD
Aina Faith Sunday1 and Gloria Adewale2
1: Phytoremediation Unit, department of Agriculture, Lagos State Polytechnic
2: Environmental Health Department, Olabisi Onabanjo Univeristy, Nigeria
Lead is rated second of all harzardous substances and has become persistent in the soil and environment due to anthrpogenic activities such as mining, fuel combustion, synthetic fertilizers and from lead-acid batteries. Lead can be retained in the environment for up to 5000 years without degrading. Lead is toxic to living organisms even at low concentration. Attempts have been made to remove lead accumulation from our environment using plant species such as Arabdiosis, Helianthus, Oryza sativa and Lantana camara; a process known as Phytoremediation. However, the effectiveness of clean up haave been very low compared to amount deposited in our environment. This study documents genetic enhancement utilized for a better phytoremediation of lead from our society. Phytochelatin synthase gene from wheat plant inserted into Nicotiana glauca, the use of Agrobacterium, methallothionein, metal chelator, metal transporter genes transfereered into plants for better lead uptake from the soil have been developed. This genetic engineering technique has not only proved succesful but also increase the hope of getting better molecular techniques which will eventually be used to effectively reduce the accumulation of toxic metals from our environment.