Phytoremediation: State-of-the-art and a Key Role for the Plant Microbiome in Future Trends and Research Prospects

Int J Phytoremediation. 2017 Jan 2;19(1):23-38. doi: 10.1080/15226514.2016.1216076.


Phytoremediation is increasingly adopted as a more sustainable approach for soil remediation. However, significant advances in efficiency are still necessary to attain higher levels of environmental and economic sustainability. Current interventions do not always give the expected outcomes in field settings due to an incomplete understanding of the multicomponent biological interactions. New advances in -omics are gradually implemented for studying microbial communities of polluted land in situ. This opens new perspectives for the discovery of biodegradative strains and provides us new ways of interfering with microbial communities to enhance bioremediation rates. This review presents retrospectives and future perspectives for plant microbiome studies relevant to phytoremediation, as well as some knowledge gaps in this promising research field. The implementation of phytoremediation in soil clean-up management systems is discussed, and an overview of the promoting factors that determine the growth of the phytoremediation market is given. Continuous growth is expected since elimination of contaminants from the environment is demanded. The evolution of scientific thought from a reductionist view to a more holistic approach will boost phytoremediation as an efficient and reliable phytotechnology. It is anticipated that phytoremediation will prove the most promising for organic contaminant degradation and bioenergy crop production on marginal land.

Keywords: -omics; Phytotechnology; biostimulants; plant-associated microorganisms; remediation; rhizoengineering.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental*
  • Microbiota*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Plants / microbiology*
  • Soil Pollutants / metabolism*


  • Soil Pollutants