Exploring the phytoremediation potential of kale plants

Holly Roth researchHolly Roth’s (E&H ’18) honors thesis research project focuses on measuring the phytoremediation potential of kale plants (Brassica oleracea).   Members of the Brassica(kale, cabbage, broccoli…) family function as “hyperaccumulators” and can extract and store high concentrations of heavy metals.  Holly has developed an experimental design for testing the uptake of lead and copper from contaminated soils by kale plants under several different treatment conditions including pH adjustment and EDTA applications.  Tissue samples from 50 plants grown under varying conditions will be analyzed for lead and copper using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and the effects of pH and EDTA will be assessed.