Endophytic Phytoaugmentation: Treating Wastewater and Runoff Through Augmented Phytoremediation.
Limited options exist for efficiently and effectively treating water runoff from agricultural fields and landfills. Traditional treatments include excavation, transport to landfills, incineration, stabilization, and vitrification. In general, treatment options relying on biological methods such as bioremediation have the ability to be applied in situ and offer a sustainable remedial option with a lower environmental impact and reduced long-term operating expenses. These methods are generally considered ecologically friendly, particularly when compared to traditional physicochemical cleanup options. Phytoremediation, which relies on plants to take up and/or transform the contaminant of interest, is another alternative treatment method which has been developed. However, phytoremediation is not widely used, largely due to its low treatment efficiency. Endophytic phytoaugmentation is a variation on phytoremediation that relies on augmenting the phytoremediating plants with exogenous strains to stimulate associated plant-microbe interactions to facilitate and improve remediation efficiency. In this review, we offer a summary of the current knowledge as well as developments in endophytic phytoaugmentation and present some potential future applications for this technology. There has been a limited number of published endophytic phytoaugmentation case studies and much remains to be done to transition lab-scale results to field applications. Future research needs include large-scale endophytic phytoaugmentation experiments as well as the development of more exhaustive tools for monitoring plant-microbe-pollutant interactions.
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