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Use of native plants and their associated bacteria rhizobiomes to remediate-restore Draa Sfar and Kettara mining sites, Morocco

  • El Alaoui, Abdelkhalek1, 2
  • Raklami, Anas1
  • Bechtaoui, Noura1
  • El Gharmali, Abdelhay1
  • Ouhammou, Ahmed1
  • Imziln, Boujamaa1
  • Achouak, Wafa2
  • Pajuelo, Eloisa3
  • Oufdou, Khalid1
  • 1 Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco , Marrakech (Morocco)
  • 2 Aix-Marseille University, CEA, CNRS, UMR7265, Saint Paul Lez Durance, F-13108, France , Saint Paul Lez Durance (France)
  • 3 University of Seville, Seville, 41080, Spain , Seville (Spain)
Published Article
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Publication Date
Mar 27, 2021
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-021-08977-4
Springer Nature


Soil and mine tailings are unreceptive to plant growth representing an imminent threat to the environment and resource sustainability. Using indigenous plants and their associated rhizobacteria to restore mining sites would be an eco-friendly solution to mitigate soil-metal toxicity. Soil prospection from Draa Sfar and Kettara mining sites in Morocco was carried out during different seasons for native plant sampling and rhizobacteria screening. The sites have been colonized by fifteen tolerant plant species having different capacities to accumulate Cu, Zn, and P in their shoots/root systems. In Draa Sfar mine, Suaeda vera J.F. Gmel., Sarcocornia fruticosa (L.) A.J. Scott., and Frankenia corymbosa Desf. accumulated mainly Cu (more than 90 mg kg−1), Atriplex halimus L. accumulated Zn (mg kg−1), and Frankenia corymbosa Desf. accumulated Pb (14 mg kg−1). As for Kettara mine, Aizoon canariense L. mainly accumulated Zn (270 mg kg−1), whereas Forsskalea tenacissima L. was the best shoot Cu accumulator with up to 50 mg kg−1, whereas Cu accumulation in roots was 21 mg kg−1. The bacterial screening revealed the strains’ abilities to tolerate heavy metals up to 50 mg kg−1 Cu, 250 mg kg−1 Pb, and 150 mg kg−1 Zn. Isolated strains belonged mainly to Bacillaceae (73.33%) and Pseudomonadaceae (10%) and expressed different plant growth–promoting traits, alongside their antifungal activity. Results from this study will provide an insight into the ability of native plants and their associated rhizobacteria to serve as a basis for remediation-restoration strategies.

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