Metal Eating Plant Discovered

Friday, May 09, 2014

Metal from Plants

A research team from the University of Philippines, Los Baños has discovered an unusual plant that devours on nickel from soil to make a living. The plant accumulates up to 18,000 ppm (parts per million) of the metal into its leaves without running the risk of poisoning itself.

The plant has been named Rinorea niccolifera for its ability to absorb large amounts of nickel. This phenomenon of absorbing nickel in very high proportion is referred to as ‘Nickel Hyperaccumulation’. Only 0.5–1% of known plant species around the world native to nickel-rich soils are known to exhibit such ability. Niccolifera was discovered on the western part of Luzon Island in Philippines, an area with heavy metal rich soils. The 8 meter tall plant grows in nickel rich soils that cover less than 500 square kilometres of Luzon Island.

Hyperaccumulator plants have great potential to develop green technologies such as ‘phytoremediation’ and ‘phytomining’. Phytoremediation refers to the use of hyperaccumulator plants to absorb heavy metals accumulated in polluted soils and phytomining refers to using these plants to grow and harvest in order to recover commercially valuable metals in plant shoots from metal-rich sites. 

The most wonderful and precious element of universe is the human life which can only be guided by the right knowledge and right attitude. So, here is an ocean of knowledge, both in English and Hindi encompassing every detail and each facet of human life which ‘one must know’ in order to grow and attain the summits of success. A team of around 200 dedicated members is working ceaselessly to turn such a colossal dream into reality. We are confident that this portal will help bring change in people across the world.

Content creation, research, development and execution done in-house at Aatman Innovations.