Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Plant Hairy Roots for Remediation of Aqueous Pollutants

  • Mei-Liang Zhou
  • Yi-Xiong Tang
  • Yan-Min Wu


Significant progress has been made in recent years in enhancing the ability of plants to tolerate, remove, and degrade pollutants. Plant root remediation of contaminated soils and groundwater shows great potential for future development due to its environmental compatibility and cost-effectiveness. Hairy roots are disease manifestations developed by plants that are wounded and infected by Agrobacterium rhizogenes. The application of transgenic hairy roots in phytoremediation has been suggested mainly because of their biochemical resemblance to the roots of the plant from which they are derived. The application of genetic engineering has greatly augmented removal rates of hazardous pollutants. In addition, the rhizospheric bacteria that live on or around plant hairy roots also lead to improved tolerance to normally phytotoxic chemicals and increased removal of pollutants. This paper provides a broad overview of the evidence supporting the suitability and prospects of hairy roots in phytoremediation of organic pollutants and heavy metals.


Cadmium Hairy roots Hyperaccumulator Phenol Phytoremediation 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Transgenic Program (2011ZX08005-004).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology Research InstituteChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)BeijingChina

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