Phytomanagement of lead-contaminated soils: critical review of new trends and future prospects

  • I. Khan
  • M. Iqbal
  • F. ShafiqEmail author


Lead is a hazardous heavy metal released extensively in the environment through natural and anthropogenic sources and is toxic to terrestrial life. The presence of lead in terrestrial ecosystem raises concerns about human health due to edible safety of the cultivated crops or vegetables, and remediation of such soils is therefore essential. As a green and cost-effective alternative, plants have been used to remediate such soils in a number of ways including phytoextraction, phytostabilization, rhizofiltration, phytotransformation and phytovolatilization. The effectiveness of these plant-based approaches as well as the efficacy of different metal-chelating organic ligands of both synthetic and natural origins for the management of lead-contaminated soils is discussed at length in this review. Furthermore, numerous recent reports are incorporated in tabulated form and areas of potential focus have been highlighted that not only signify the success of such studies in the past but also pave the way for future efforts.


Antioxidants Chelates Heavy metal Hyperaccumulator Lead phytoremediation 



Heavy metal






















Lead sulfide


Lead sulfate


Lead silicate


Lead oxide


Lead carbonate


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase






Ascorbate peroxidase


Glutathione reductase


Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


Ethylene glycol-bis(β-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid


Ethylenediamine-N,N′-disuccinic acid


Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid


Nitrilotriacetic acid


Low-molecular-weight organic acids


Citric acid


Malic acid


Tartaric acid


Oxalic acid


Fresh weight


Dry weight



The authors wish to thank all who assisted in conducting this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyGovernment College University FaisalabadFaisalabadPakistan

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