Fifty six local Japanese cultivars of Brassica rapa (40 cultivars), Brassica juncea (10 cultivars) and Brassica napus (6 cultivars) were assessed for variability in growth and (137)Cs uptake and accumulation in association with a Bacillus pumilus strain. Field trial was conducted at a contaminated farmland in Nihonmatsu city, in Fukushima prefecture. Inoculation resulted in different responses of the cultivars in terms of growth and radiocesium uptake and accumulation. B. pumilus induced a significant increase in shoot dry weight in 12 cultivars that reached up to 40% in one B. rapa and three B. juncea cultivars. Differences in radiocesium uptake were observed between the cultivars of each Brassica species. Generally, inoculation resulted in a significant increase in (137)Cs uptake in 22 cultivars, while in seven cultivars it was significantly decreased. Regardless of plant cultivar and bacterial inoculation, the transfer of (137)Cs to the plant shoots (TF) varied by a factor of up to 5 and it ranged from to 0.011 to 0.054. Five inoculated cultivars, showed enhanced shoot dry weights and decreased (137)Cs accumulations, among which two B. rapa cultivars named Bitamina and Nozawana had a significantly decreased (137)Cs accumulation in their shoots. Such cultivars could be utilized to minimize the entry of radiocesium into the food chain; however, verifying the consistency of their radiocesium accumulation in other soils is strongly required. Moreover, the variations in growth and radiocesium accumulation, as influenced by Bacillus inoculation, could help selecting well grown inoculated Brassica cultivars with low radiocesium accumulation in their shoots.
Keywords: Bacillus pumilus; Brassica cultivars; Fukushima; Radiocesium accumulation.
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