Stimulation of corn zinc efficiency in the soil polluted with petroleum hydrocarbons and lead using Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and zinc oxide nanoparticles

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Soil Science, Arak Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arak, Iran

2 Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran


Zinc (Zn) deficiency is among the main concerns regarding human nutrition. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles and Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on the changes of Zn concentration in the corn plant grown in the soil contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and lead (Pb). Treatments consisted of applying 0% (Zn0) and 1% (w/w) Zn oxide nanoparticles (Zn1), soil pollution with zero (Pb0), 400 (Pb400), and 600 (Pb600) mg Pb/kg soil and 0% (P0), 1.5% (P1.5), and 3% (W/W) of crude oil (P3) in the presence (AMF+) and absence of AMF (AMF-). After the corn harvesting, plant Zn and Pb concentrations were measured using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Also, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHS) degradation in the soil was measured via gas chromatography. The least significant difference (LSD) test was used to determine the statistical differences between the mean values. According to the findings, the presence of AMF in soil containing 1.5% (W/W) crude oil and polluted with 400 mg Pb/kg soil caused a significant increase in plant Zn concentration by 52%. However, increasing soil pollution to petroleum hydrocarbon or Pb caused a significant decreasing in the plant Zn concentration. The highest TPHS degradation has belonged to the soil treated with 1% (W/W) ZnO nanoparticles nanoparticle in the presence of AMF that containing 1.5 % (W/W) crude oil. The results of this study showed that regardless of pollution type, application of AMF in soil treated with ZnO nanoparticles nanoparticle can increase plant Zn concentration.


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