Date of Award

Summer 7-1999

Document Type

Master's Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Science

First Advisor

Dr. Twintilla Tate

Second Advisor

Dr. Fitzgerald Spencer

Third Advisor

Dr. Perpetua Muganda


This study was developed to determine the effects of lead nitrate on marigold (Tagetes erecta) plants and to determine if these plants could phytoremediate or uptake lead nitrate from the soil. Phytoremediation is a low cost-effective means of reduction or removal of environmental contaminants by plants from the environment and is currently being investigated for many remediation applications. The objectives of this research were to: 1) determine the toxicity of lead nitrate on T. erecta by exposure of the plants to varying concentrations of lead nitrate (0.1-1000 ppm); 2) determine the effects of lead nitrate on the growth and development of T. erecta, by measurements of growth for the treated plants compared to the controls; and macroscopic observation of leaves, stems, and flowers; and 3) determine the uptake of lead nitrate from the soil into plant organs (leaves, stems, roots, and flower) by ICP analysis and analysis of soil for lead concentration by atomic absorption analysis. Results indicate that lead nitrate is not toxic to marigolds at concentrations of 0.1-1000 ppm. Changes in leaf coloration from green to yellow, and green to brown were observed. There were no significant differences in growth of treated plants compared to controls. Analysis of plant organs (root, stem, leaves, and flowers) showed that uptake of lead occurred in all of the organs with highest concentrations being observed in the roots (p<0.05),

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Biology Commons