Growth and Phytoremediation Efficiency of Winged Bean in Fluorene- and Pyrene-Contaminated Soil

  • Waraporn ChouychaiEmail author
  • Theerarat Swangying
  • Khanitta Somtrakoon
  • Hung Lee


Winged bean is a tropical legume that has been reported to enhance polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) biodegradation in soil. However, there is insufficient information about the susceptibility of winged bean to PAH toxicity in long term study. In this study, winged bean was planted in soil contaminated with either fluorene (124.5 mg/kg) or pyrene (98.4 mg/kg) for 90 days. Plant growth parameters and PAH disappearances from soil were measured every 30 days. Neither fluorene nor pyrene led to decreased shoot and root length of winged bean and all the winged bean plants flowered on day 90. However, the chlorophyll b content in the leaves decreased since day 60 and further decreased significantly by day 90 when winged bean was grown in the presence of fluorene or pyrene. The presence of fluorene and pyrene led to reduced root nodule formation at 30 and 60 days. Despite the reduced chlorophyll b content and decreased number of root nodules, winged bean could enhance pyrene removal significantly on day 30 compared to unplanted soil. Subsequently, pyrene degradation in the unplanted soil caught up and there was no statistically significant difference between the two treatments at 60 or 90 days. Negligible amounts of PAHs were accumulated in the shoot and root tissues of winged bean. These results showed that winged bean can speed up the removal of high MW PAHs from contaminated soil and we conclude that this plant is suitable for PAH phytoremediation.


Nodule formation Phytoremediation Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons Winged bean 



We thank Nakhonsawan Rajabhat University for infrastructure and equipment support for this research.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biology Program, Department of Science, Faculty of Science and TechnologyNakhonsawan Rajabhat UniversityNakhonsawanThailand
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceMahasarakham UniversityMahasarakhamThailand
  3. 3.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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