Volume 1, Issue 2      April-June, 2013

Phytoremediation of cadmium contaminated soil by auxin assisted bacterial inoculation

Tariq Ali, Sajid Mahmood, Muhammad Yahya Khan*, Ana Aslam, Muhammad Baqir Hussain, Hafiz Naeem Asghar and Muhammad Javed Akhtar

Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad-38040, Pakistan

*Corresponding author: e-mail:


Toxic level of cadmium (Cd) has been built up in soil profile due to over fertilization, industrial activities and irrigation with city wastewater. One of the remediation strategies of such contaminated soil is phytoextraction by using hyper-accumulator plants. Metal stress hinders plant growth in contaminated soils even hyper-accumulator plant cannot attain sufficient biomass for effective phytoremediation. Plant growth promoting bacteria and auxin help plants to cope with metal stress. A pot experiment was conducted where the efficacy of four different Cd tolerant bacterial isolates alone and in combination with auxin (10-3 M) was evaluated to promote spinach growth in Cd contaminated soil. Results revealed that Cd contamination severely decreased the spinach growth. However, bacterial inoculation and auxin application improved the spinach growth and Cd uptake compared to control. But combined application of bacterial isolates and auxin was more pronounced for enhancing fresh and dry mass, and phytoextraction of Cd.  Bacterial inoculation along with auxin increased the fresh and dry weight up to 261 and 45%, respectively, over control. Moreover, combined use of bacteria and auxin also enhanced the uptake of Cd by spinach up to 5.36 folds compared to control. Thus, synergistic use of bacteria and auxin could be a novel approach for improving plant growth under metals stress as well as for meaningful phytoremediation of metals contaminated soils.

Keywords: Spinach, Phytoextraction, IAA

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