Bhushan Kumar & Amarjeet Singh*
Department of Botany, Punjabi University, Patiala – 147 002, India
Received 11th June, 2010; Revised 28th August, 2010
Abstract : Phytoremediation is a novel green technology employing green plants for stripping of heavy metals from natural ecosystems. The macrophytes with high growth rate are of great value in this context. Azolla microphylla, an aquatic free floating fern having high multiplication rate, high amount of pectins and metal detoxification mechanism at genic level is potentially useful for clean up of waters. Chromium, a carcinogenic heavy metal being inevitably used up in tanning and electroplating industries, is constantly entering the biological systems posing a serious threat to life. An attempt for maximizing chromium removal efficiency of Azolla microphylla acclimatized and grown at tropical house, Botanic Gardens, Punjabi University, Patiala, India, was made to optimize inoculum size, incubation period, initial chromium concentration and pH of the optimized Warne medium. Maximum chromium removal efficiency was recorded at inoculum size of 4 gm/L of the medium, inoculation period of 6 hours, initial chromium concentration of 7.5 ppm and pH 6 of the medium. It is concluded from the results that Azolla can serve as an efficient means of removing chromium from the effluents of tanning and electroplating industries and can contribute towards developing an eco-friendly sustainable technology for recycle and reuse of chromium.