Title: Endophytes Help Poplar Trees Clean Up TCE on Superfund Site 
Resource Type: document --> public information 
Country: USA 
Language(s): English
 
Year: 2017 
Author 1/Producer: US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) 
Author / Producer Type: Agency, regulator or other governmental or inter-governmental body 
Report/Document number/description: Superfund Research Program Research Brief 274 
Publisher Country: USA 
Publisher web link (root): http://ools.niehs.nih.gov
Report / download web link (=direct link): https://tools.niehs.nih.gov/srp/researchbriefs/view.cfm?Brie ...  
EUGRIS Keyword(s): Contaminated land-->Remediation options-->In situ treatment technologies
 
Short description: Poplar trees can capture and remove trichloroethylene (TCE) from the soil and degrade it. Now, a method using endophytes, symbiotic microbes that live within a plant, has been successfully shown to boost the speed and effectiveness of this natural degradation process. Researchers led by Edenspace Systems Corporation, a Superfund Research Program (SRP)-funded small business, conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a microbial endophyte to clean up TCE-contaminated groundwater. TCE is a known human carcinogen that is widely used as a metal degreasing agent and has been found in groundwater at many military and Superfund sites. After inoculating poplar trees with a specific endophyte strain, the researchers successfully showed that the endophyte-assisted poplars quickly and effectively removed TCE, decreasing concentrations in groundwater from 300 to 5 micrograms per liter. 
Submitted By: Professor Paul Bardos WhoDoesWhat?      Last update: 01/11/2017