Western Kentucky University

Research Projects

Photograph: Sahi Lab, 2010


REU Project 1—Phytoremediation of toxic metals and expression of genes in response to heavy metals—Dr. Shivendra Sahi, Biology Department


All industrialized countries are littered with old industrial and mining sites and waste dumps, which contaminate the soils with toxic compounds. These contaminants have entered the streams, estuaries and ground waters, in spite of major protection efforts. Although several strategies have been developed to detoxify these sites, very little has been done to exploit the plant-based remediation: phytoremediation--an emerging cost effective technology. In this project we have shown that Sesbania drummondii can hyperaccumulate several toxic metals such as lead, copper and mercury without any significant damage to the plant. Currently, we are attempting to fish out genes responsible for metal accumulation in plants and use these genes to develop plants with enhanced ability to remove toxic chemicals.


Related Publications:

  1. Venkatachalam, P., A. Srivastava*, K. Raghothama, S. Sahi. Genes induced in response to mercury-ion-exposure in heavy metal hyperaccumulator S.drummondii. Environ Sci Technol 43, 843-850 (2009);
  2. Srivastava* A., P. Venkatachalam, K. Raghothama and S. V. Sahi. Identification of lead-regulated genes by suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) in the heavy metal accumulator plant S. drummondii. Planta 225, 1353-1365 (2007);
  3. Sahi, S.V., M. Israr, A. Srivastava*, J. Gardea-Torresdey, J. Parsons. Accumulation, speciation and cellular localization of copper in Sesbania drum-mondii. Chemosphere 67, 2257-2266 (2007);
  4. Ruley*, T., N. Sharma, S. Sahi, S. Singh, K. Sajwan. Ef-fects of lead and chelators on growth, photosynthetic activity and Pb uptake in S. drummondii. Environ. Poll. 144, 11-14 (2006);
  5. Ruley*, A. T., N. C. Sharma, S. V. Sahi. Antioxidant defense in a lead accu-mulating plant, Sesbania drummondii. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 42, 899-906 (2004);
  6. Cheepala*, S., N. Sharma, S.V. Sahi. Rapid in vitro regeneration of Sesbania drummondii. Biol. Plant. 48(1): 13-18 (2004).

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 Last Modified 7/22/13