Southeastern Section - 64th Annual Meeting (19–20 March 2015)

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 9:20 AM


FORTE, Jenna1, THOMSON, Alyssa1 and MUTITI, Samuel2, (1)Biology and Enviromental Sciences Department, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA 31061, (2)Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA 31061,

Various plants have been known to take up heavy metals directly from the soil through their roots and into their leaves. This study was conducted to analyze the hyper accumulation potential of chromium, copper, and lead in Hydrangea paniculata. The study also investigates the potential of the plants to transpire heavy metals. The hydrangea plant was watered with known concentrations of heavy metals. In this initial phase of the study a 200 mg/L solution of copper oxide and a 1000 ppm lead solutions were utilized to water the plants for one week. Four branches from the hydrangea plant, prior to exposure to copper and lead contamination, were cut off and placed in bottles of water to propagate. Two of the branches were used as controls while the other two were placed in vials of 30mL nutrient water with 1mL of 5 ppm hexavalent chromium (Cr) solution. Additionally, three branches on the plant were used to collect the transpiration during the one week period of contaminant exposure. The four plant branches (two controls and two from the Cr vials) were collected after two weeks and analyzed for Cr using an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) machine. The stems and leaves of the four branches tested showed to contain no traces of chromium; even they though did have other metals. For a quick analysis, (while awaiting results from more sensitive instruments) the John’s Copper Check test strips were used to determine the presence or absence of copper in the transpired water. Transpiration water from two of the three branches showed a presence of copper between 0.1 and 0.5 ppm. The third branch showed a presence of copper between 0 and 0.1 ppm.