Journal of Soils and Sediments

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 260–271 | Cite as

A consortium of fungal isolates and biochar improved the phytoremediation potential of Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Don and reduced copper, manganese, and zinc leaching

  • Christyan Paiva Farias
  • Gabriel Sousa Alves
  • Denis Coelho Oliveira
  • Edmar Isaías de Melo
  • Lucas Carvalho Basilio AzevedoEmail author
Soils, Sec 2 • Global Change, Environ Risk Assess, Sustainable Land Use • Research Article



A consortium of fungal isolates may improve phytoremediation by stimulating root growth whereas biochar reduces metal leaching in contaminated soils. We combined these treatments to evaluate to what extent Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Don seedlings extract metals (Cu, Mn, and Zn) and reduce leaching in soil columns.

Materials and methods

Contamination treatments were established by combining Cu (200 mg dm−3), Mn (450 mg dm−3), and Zn (450 mg dm−3). A spore suspension of five fungal isolates (Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, Pochonia chlamydosporia, Purpureocillium lilacinum, and Trichoderma asperella) was sprayed on plant shoots and the soil surface. Biochar (1% m/v) was produced by the pyrolysis of wood sawdust and applied to the soil surface. Finally, control treatments were established in a completely randomized block design.

Results and discussion

The consortium of fungal isolates increased shoot and root mass, improved the translocation potential of Cu (translocation factor (TF) of 0.25), Mn (TF of 2.93), and Zn (TF of 1.79) from roots to shoots, and increased the total accumulated mass of Mn and Zn in shoots and roots. Biochar applications improved Cu, Mn, and Zn translocation and increased the total accumulated mass of shoot Mn. Moreover, a combination of fungal isolates and biochar increased the translocation factor to 0.44 for Cu, 1.70 for Mn, and 1.34 for Zn relative to the treatment with J. mimosifolia in contaminated soil (CJ); increased shoot Cu concentration; and reduced total leached Cu by a factor of 22.9, Mn by 5.5, and Zn by 22.9 relative to the CJ treatment. A photochemical profile, based on chlorophyll a fluorescence, showed that Jacaranda mimosifolia was tolerant to contaminated soil and is a potential phytoremediator of Cu, Mn, and Zn.


Overall, the consortium of fungal isolates and biochar improved the efficiency of phytoremediation by concentrating metals in plant tissue and reducing the risks of leaching.


Heavy metal Phytoextraction Plant stress Soil contamination Trace elements Translocation factor 



Authors thank the reviewers for their comments and suggestions for improving this manuscript. We are grateful to Biosag - Comércio e Serviços Agrícolas Ltda and to Msc. The authors are grateful to the City Hall of Uberlândia for providing J. mimosifolia seedlings, and to João C.F. Cardoso who helped us with the PCA and the multivariate linear mixed model analysis of the photosynthesis data.


This study was funded by Biosag - Comércio e Serviços Agrícolas Ltda (ICIAG.PEQU.0037). CPF received a mastering course scholarship grant from Biosag - Comércio e Serviços Agrícolas Ltda. LCBA received a scholarship grant from Biosag.

Compliance with ethical standards

All authors attest consent for publishing. The research project has been submitted and approved at Council of Institute of Agricultural Sciences and by the Pro-Rectory of Research and Post-Graduation Studies of Federal University of Uberlândia.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Agricultural SciencesFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of ChemistryFederal University of UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil

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