Project R-2901


Role of plant associated bacteria in improving biomass production and metal accumulation of short rotation coppice as part of sustainable land use and phytoremediation of contaminated soils. (Research)


In the Kempen an area of about 280 km2 is contaminated with metals like cadmium (Cd), zink (Zn) and lead (Pb). Cleaning up these soils using short rotation coppice of willow is a very promising option. Besides an economic advantage for the farmer (production of bioenergy from the harvested biomass), these willow cultures also gradually decontaminate the soil (by phytoremediation). However, at this moment phytoremediation with short rotation coppice has to deal with some limitations as low biomass production and insufficient metal extraction out of the soil. These limitations can be diminished by selecting the best performing willow clones and by inoculating these clones with selected plant associated bacteria. Some plant associated bacteria have the potential to increase biomass production and/or metal extraction from the host plant. After inoculation of the selected clones with one or more interesting bacterial strains, the plants will be evaluated in greenhouse experiments. De best performing combinations (clone-bacteria) will eventually be tested in the field.

Period of project

01 January 2011 - 15 April 2015