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

Analysis of phenanthrene biosorption to the roots of Cyperus hermaphroditus by microscopy, spectroscopy and photoacoustic techniques

Angélica Guerrero Zúñiga1, Alfredo Cruz Orea2, Juvencio Galíndez Mayer3 and Angélica Rodríguez Dorantes4*
  1Dirección de Seguridad y Medio Ambiente, Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, México City 07730, México. 2Departmento de Física, CINVESTAV-IPN, México City 14740, México. 3Departmento de Biotecnología, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, I.P.N., México City 11340, México. 4Laboratorio de Fisiología Vegetal, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, I.P.N., México City 11340, México.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 26 August 2009
  •  Published: 31 October 2009



Understanding the process of contaminant accumulation by plants is essential to assessing crop contamination; organic chemicals may be adsorbed to roots and then be taken up, translocated, metabolized, or transpired by plants. The biosorption of phenanthrene by the radical system of Cyperus hermaphroditus,was studied by plants exposed to different concentrations of this pollutant, during 3 and 12 days and phenanthrene adsorbed was detected by optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques and measured by photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS). The sorption of phenanthrene in this species increased with plant age and the exposition time to the contaminant, due to the root mass with more surface area that enhanced affinity of the roots for the contaminant. The radical system of C. hermaphroditus may thus provide a surface for phenanthrene biosorption; that could be an important control in the immobilization of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.


Key words:  Phenanthrene, radical system, photoacoustic spectroscopy.