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Home Biotechnologies Investigating mechanisms of uptake of Cs137 at Chernobyl

Investigating the mechanisms of uptake of Cs137 and K by plants under natural conditions at Chernobyl.

Description

The prediction of Cs137 concentrations in tissues of different plants growing in contaminated land with a specific type of soil is relevant to any country. This problem is not solved today.

Map of pollution
Map of pollution

We carried out our investigations under field conditions. The growth of different plant species at four experimental field sites was investigated with contrasting soil properties.

They are:

  • site B – sandy soil,
  • site D – peaty soil,
  • site Ya – swampy soil, and
  • site C – sod-podzol soil.

The sites were situated in the 10 km Zone of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. We sowed mixed seed of rapidly maturing plant species that were as divergent from each other as possible. The plants were grown at each experimental site several times during 2012. The soil solution characteristics were the same for all plants, as they were growing at the same site at the same time. We took tissue samples several times during each run of the experiment. At each harvest, samples of soils, samples of the sown plants (if they had grown), and samples of wild plants were taken. The samples of plants and the corresponding soil solution are analyzed.

Soil humidity in the sites during the experimant

Investigating soil with Cs137 at Chernobyl

The plant tissues were sampled before blossoming, they were washed and dried before measurements. The soil solution was extracted from the soil by centrifugation (Centrifuge OS-6M, former USSR). The concentration of Cs137 in plant tissues and the corresponding soil solutions were measured by gamma spectroscopy (Gamma spectrometer ORTEC). The potassium content of the samples was estimated using atomic absorption (spectrophotometer C-115-M1). The soil water content was determined when soils were sampled. The concentration of the dissolved K in the soil CK was calculated as product of the K content in the soil solution (Kss) and content of soil solution h in the unit of soil volume: CK = Kss•h. We compared Cs137/K quotients for all the plants and the corresponding soil solutions: r = (Cs137/K)plant/(Cs137/K)ss. From this data, one can make some conclusions about the relative abundance of low-affinity and high-affinity transport systems catalyzing the uptake of cesium and potassium in these plants.

Cs137 content in plants (Site B)

Cs137 content in soil solutions (Site B)

Site Ya. Ratios r and CK for different times of sample selection

04 May

  • Couch grass, Elytrigia repens ———————————— 0.27

25 June, CK = 0.00065 mg/cm3

  • Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ——————————————— 0.40
  • Beet, Beta vulgaris ————————————————— 0.56
  • Coriander, Coriandrum sativum ———————————— 0.13
  • Lady's-thumb, Persicaria maculosa —————————— 0.23
  • Spinach, Spinacia oleracea ————————————— 0.031
  • Radish, Raphanus sativus —————————————— 0.18
  • Mustard, Sinapis sp. ———————————————— 0.19

01 Aug., CK =0.0017 mg/cm3

  • Carex, Carex L. —————————————————— 0.41
  • Cockspur, Echinochloa crus-galli L. ————————— 0.25
  • Lady's-thumb, Persicaria maculosa ————————— 0.95
  • Common Hedgehyssop, Gratiola officinalis L. ————— 0.35
  • Coriander, Coriandrum sativum ——————————— 0.19

18 Sept., CK =0.0015 mg/cm3

  • Carex, Carex L. —————————————————— 0.24
  • Viola, Viola sp. —————————————————— 0.30
  • Common Hedgehyssop, Gratiola officialis L. ————— 0.34
  • Senecio, Senecio tataricum ———————————— 0.29

Site D. Ratios r and CK for different times of sample selection

04 May

  • Couch grass, Elytrigia repens ——————————— 0.012

28 May CK =0.00093 mg/cm3

  • Radish, Raphanus sativus ————————————— 0.13

25 June, CK =0.0016 mg/cm3

  • Couch grass, Elytrigia repens ———————————— 0.12
  • Mustard, Sinapis sp. ———————————————— 0.26
  • Lady's-thumb, Persicaria maculosa —————————— 0.11
  • Radish, Raphanus sativus —————————————— 0.54
  • Lettuce, Lactuca sativa ——————————————— 0.073
  • Spinach, Spinacia oleracea ————————————— 0.0061
  • Beet, Beta vulgaris ————————————————— 0.32
  • Coriander, Coriandrum sativum ———————————— 0.053

01 Aug., CK =0.0015 r mg/cm3

  • Lady's-thumb, Persicaria maculosa —————————— 0.31
  • Berteroa, Berteroa incana L. ————————————— 0.076
  • Bunias, Bunias orientalis L. ————————————— 0.23
  • Couch grass, Elytrigia repens ———————————— 0.12

18 Sept., CK = 0.0021 m g/cm3

  • Radish, Raphanus sativus —————————————— 0.47
  • Berteroa, Berteroa incana L. ————————————— 0.37
  • Ground-ivy, Glechoma hederacea ——————————— 0.33
  • Lady's-thumb, Persicaria maculosa —————————— 0.12

Site C. Ratios r and CK for different times of sample selection

04 May

  • Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus ————————— 0.066

28 May, CK =0.0085 mg/cm3

  • Mustard, Sinapis sp. ————————————————— 0.18

25 June, CK =0.0042 mg/cm3

  • Mustard, Sinapis sp. ————————————————— 0.27

01 Aug., CK =0.0017 mg/cm3

  • Greater celandine, Chelidonium majus ————————— 0.094
  • Valerianella locusta, Valerianella locusta ———————— 0.13
  • Chaerophyllum, Chaerophyllum temulum ———————— 0.095

18 Sept., CK =0.0027 mg/cm3

  • Mustard, Sinapis sp. ————————————————— 0.20

Site B. Ratios r = (Cs137/K)plant / (Cs137/K)ss and CK for different times of sample selection

28 May, CK = 0.00013 mg/cm3

  • Radish, Raphanus sativus ——————————————— 0.0078

25 June, CK =0.00077 mg/cm3

  • Radish, Raphanus sativus ——————————————— 0.11
  • Mustard, Sinapis sp. ————————————————— 0.12
  • Common sorrel, Rumex acetosa ———————————— 0.10

01 Aug., CK =0.00020 mg/cm3

  • Radish, Raphanus sativus ——————————————— 0.088
  • Common sorrel, Rumex acetosa ———————————— 0.11
  • Mustard, Sinapis sp. ————————————————— 0.17

18 Sept., CK =0.00054 mg/cm3

  • Radish, Raphanus sativus ——————————————— 0.093
  • Common sorrel, Rumex acetosa ———————————— 0.11

Areas of Application

Agriculture in the contaminated soils

Contact Details

Authors: Prorok V.V., White P.J., Bogdan L.M. and Dacenko O.I.
Prorok V.V.
Organization: Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University (Ukraine).
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(095) 307-8624

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