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In this study we examine the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on the ability of the hyperaccumulator plant Alyssum lesbiacum to phytoextract nickel from co-contaminated soil. Planted and unplanted mesocosms containing the contaminated soils were repeatedly amended with sorbitan trioleate, salicylic acid and histidine in various combinations to enhance the degradation of two PAHs (phenanthrene and chrysene) and increase nickel phytoextraction. Plant growth was negatively affected by PAHs; however, there was no significant effect on the phytoextraction of Ni per unit biomass of shoot. Exogenous histidine did not increase nickel phytoextraction, but the histidine-extractable fraction of soil nickel showed a high correlation with phytoextractable nickel. These results indicate that Alyssum lesbiacum might be effective in phytoextracting nickel from marginally PAH-contaminated soils. In addition, we provide evidence for the broader applicability of histidine for quantifying and predicting Ni phytoavailability in soils.

Original publication




Journal article


Environ Pollut

Publication Date





74 - 82


Biodegradation, Environmental, Brassicaceae, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Pollution, Histidine, Nickel, Soil Pollutants