Turkish Journal of Biology




Botanical exploration of serpentine soils in Turkey and neighbouring countries has shown that the region includes at least 59 taxa capable of hyperaccumulating nickel (to >0.1% of plant dry weight). These hyperaccumulators belong to the Brassicaceae (Aethionema R.Br., Alyssum L., Bornmuellera Hausskn., Pseudosempervivum (Boiss.) Grossh. (Cochlearia L.), and Thlaspi L. s.l.) and the Asteraceae (Centaurea L.). We review present knowledge of the hyperaccumulators and provide additional data recently obtained. Some species are serpentine-endemic and invariably Ni hyperaccumulating; others show more complex distribution and Ni-accumulating behaviour. Many are good subjects for biochemical studies on the Ni-accumulation and sequestering processes. There is potential in Turkey for exploiting Ni hyperaccumulation for remediation of Ni-contaminated soils (´phytoremediation´) and for economical selective extraction of metal compounds by cropping hyperaccumulators (´phytomining´). However, there is a need for further exploration of the natural resources and some further taxonomic work by traditional and DNA methods. Attention must be paid to conservation issues, as some of the relevant species are quite rare.


Nickel, serpentine, hyperaccumulation, phytoremediation, phytomining, Alyssum, Thlaspi, Centaurea

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