African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 728

Full Length Research Paper

Phytoextracting cadmium and copper using Mucuna pruriens

E. O. Nwaichi*, M. O. Wegwu and E. N. Onyeike
Toxicology Unit, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Port Harcourt, P. M. B. 5323, Rivers State. Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 December 2009
  •  Published: 31 December 2009



Mucuna pruriens var pruriens commonly known as Mucuna, a fast-growing, high-biomass-accumulating plant was investigated to underscore its suitability for metal (Cd and Cu) extraction in an oil spill condition. Process enhancement was made using NPK, UREA and Poultry manure fertilizers. These amendments facilitated metals availability in the order PM>NPK>UREA for Cd extraction and PM>UREA >NPK for Cu extraction for both root and shoot samples. Mucuna accumulated appreciable quantities of Cd (up to 32 mg/kg) and Cu (up to 62 mg/kg) metals in their tissue regardless of the concentration of metal in the soil and achieve > 50% contaminant removal for both Cu and Cd. Extraction was maximal with increased metal bioavailability evident in PM treated groups. Below 10% (w/v) pollution, non-assisted Mucuna competed favourably with those of amendment-assisted groups for Cd extraction into tissues. However, there was a marked variation between non-assisted and assisted groups for Cu extraction into tissues.


Key words: Mucuna, extraction, amendment, metals, soil.