Poster Title

Influence of Arsenic on Lanthanide Bioaccumulation in Nephrolepis exaltata and Related Effects

Presenter Information

Margaret CookFollow

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Sophomore

Institution

Western Kentucky University

KY House District #

60

KY Senate District #

11

Department

Dept. of Chemistry

Abstract

Influence of Arsenic on Lanthanide Bioaccumulation in Nephrolepis exaltata and Related Effects

Margaret K. Cook, Yan Cao (Contact Advisor), Biochemistry

Department of Chemistry, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101

Defined by their magnetic, phosphorescent, and catalytic properties, rare earth elements (REEs) are comprised of the fifteen lanthanide metals as well as Yttrium and Scandium. Many fields, like electronics, manufacturing, medical science, technology, renewable energy, and defense technologies have a strong dependence on REEs. Current methods of obtaining them are inefficient, expensive, and pollute the environment. Plants, however, have natural mechanisms of absorbing certain REEs. This study focused on the interactions between Arsenic and five REEs; Europium, Terbium, Neodymium, Gadolinium, and Yttrium, and how it affects uptake, biomass growth, and chlorophyll. The presence of Arsenic in the soil generally aided the uptake of the other metals. A possible explanation for this phenomenon involves the ligand receptor sites which regulate the transport of ions into and out of the plant’s cells. Nephrolepis exaltata, the plant under study, is a known accumulator of Arsenic. Thus, the ligand receptor sites should be able to bind to Arsenic molecules, and when it opens the ion channel, the lanthanide molecules also have a chance to get through the membrane. A general trend was that the roots had higher amounts of metals than the leaves or shoots of the same concentration. This was likely due to the metals not being able to be translocated through the shoots and up to the leaves. Therefore, it explains there not being a significant effect on the health of the plant.

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Influence of Arsenic on Lanthanide Bioaccumulation in Nephrolepis exaltata and Related Effects

Influence of Arsenic on Lanthanide Bioaccumulation in Nephrolepis exaltata and Related Effects

Margaret K. Cook, Yan Cao (Contact Advisor), Biochemistry

Department of Chemistry, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101

Defined by their magnetic, phosphorescent, and catalytic properties, rare earth elements (REEs) are comprised of the fifteen lanthanide metals as well as Yttrium and Scandium. Many fields, like electronics, manufacturing, medical science, technology, renewable energy, and defense technologies have a strong dependence on REEs. Current methods of obtaining them are inefficient, expensive, and pollute the environment. Plants, however, have natural mechanisms of absorbing certain REEs. This study focused on the interactions between Arsenic and five REEs; Europium, Terbium, Neodymium, Gadolinium, and Yttrium, and how it affects uptake, biomass growth, and chlorophyll. The presence of Arsenic in the soil generally aided the uptake of the other metals. A possible explanation for this phenomenon involves the ligand receptor sites which regulate the transport of ions into and out of the plant’s cells. Nephrolepis exaltata, the plant under study, is a known accumulator of Arsenic. Thus, the ligand receptor sites should be able to bind to Arsenic molecules, and when it opens the ion channel, the lanthanide molecules also have a chance to get through the membrane. A general trend was that the roots had higher amounts of metals than the leaves or shoots of the same concentration. This was likely due to the metals not being able to be translocated through the shoots and up to the leaves. Therefore, it explains there not being a significant effect on the health of the plant.