Phytotoxicity attenuation in Vigna radiata under heavy metal stress at the presence of biochar and N fixing bacteria

Mihiri Seneviratne, Lakshika Weerasundara, Yong Sik Ok, Jörg Rinklebe, Meththika Vithanage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


This study assesses the effect of N-fixing bacteria and biochar synergism on plant growth and development of Vigna mungo under heavy metal stress (HM). Heavy metal stress is a worldwide problem, which causes critical effects on plant life due to oxidative stress. Application of biochar is a recent biological remediation technique, which often leads to an immobilization of heavy metals in soil.. Synergism of bacteria and biochar is a novel aspect to enhance plant growth under heavy metal stress. Woody biochar a byproduct of a dendro power industry was added as 1, 2.5 and 5% amounts combination with Bradyrhizobium japonicum, where mung seedlings were planted in serpentine soil rich in Ni, Mn, Cr and Co. Pot experiments were conducted for 12 weeks. The plant height, heavy metal uptake by plants, soil bioavailable heavy metal contents, soil N and P and microbial biomass carbon (MBC) were measured. The plant growth was enhanced with biochar amendment but a retardation was observed with high biochar application (5%). The soil N and P increased with the increase of biochar addition percentage while soil MBC showed reductions at 5% biochar amendment. Both soil bioavailable fractions of HM and up take of HMs by plants were gradually reduced with increase in biochar content. Based on the results, 2.5% biochar synergism with bacteria was the best for plant growth and soil nutrition status. Despite the synergism, available N was negatively correlated with the decrease of bioavailable metal percentage in soil whereas it was conversely for P.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochar
  • Bradyrhizobium japonicum
  • Heavy metals
  • Microbial biomass carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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