Elemental mercury accumulation in Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms-Laubach

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2023 Jan;30(4):9898-9913. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-22521-y. Epub 2022 Sep 6.


The aquatic macrophyte Eichhornia crassipes has great potential for the control of Hg pollution in the environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the capability of E. crassipes to accumulate elemental mercury (Hg0). The plants were exposed for 30 days to 5, 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg of Hg0 in a 1-L Hoagland medium with the Hg0 settled at the bottom of the flask. The roots of the plants did not touch the mercury during the treatment. After exposure, the total Hg (T-Hg) concentrations in the roots, leaves, and stems were measured using a direct mercury (Hg) analyzer. The highest concentrations were found at 80 mg Hg0 treatment in the roots, leaves, and stems, in that order. The translocation factor indicated a poor capability of Hg to translocate from the roots to the shoots. The relative growth and the root-length inhibition measurements showed that the differences between Hg0 treatments were not significant. In addition, the treatments negatively affected the chlorophyll concentration. The carotenoid content was found to be significantly different at 20 and 40 mg of Hg0 in 1 L. Regarding the carbonyl index in root proteins, significant differences compared to control were found at the highest Hg treatment. Based on these results, it was shown that E. crassipes is able to take up elemental Hg from Hoagland medium. However, the Hg0 treatments did not show a strong stress-response activation mechanism in the evaluated plant tissues.

Keywords: Aquatic macrophyte; Bioaccumulation; Eichhornia crassipes; Elemental mercury; Metal pollution.

MeSH terms

  • Biodegradation, Environmental
  • Carotenoids / metabolism
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism
  • Eichhornia*
  • Mercury* / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / metabolism


  • Mercury
  • Chlorophyll
  • Carotenoids
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical