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Transgenic plants remove more selenium from polluted soil than wild plants, new tests show

o a gas called dimethyl selenide," said Terry. "This is something we've been working to enhance in our lab. Getting inorganic selenium into gas form will allow it to just dissipate harmlessly into the atmosphere. No other form of remediation can do that."

And what happens to the plants after they've soaked up their share of selenium? The researchers say that the plants can be harvested, dried and carefully added to animal feed or used as a soil amendment in areas where selenium is in short supply.

"There are many areas where selenium is deficient, so farmers actually pay for animal feed that is supplemented with selenium," said Terry. "Farmers would love to have this source of selenium."

Other co-authors of the study include Danika L. LeDuc, a post-doctoral researcher at UC Berkeley's Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, Elizabeth A.H. Pilon-Smits, associate professor of biology at Colorado State University, and Bruce E. Mackey, a biostatistician at the USDA's ARS.

The study was funded by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Agriculture Research Initiative of California State University.


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Source:University of California - Berkeley


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