Heavy metal contamination continues to be a persistent environmental problem. To address this issue, this study evaluated the impact of air nanobubbles (NBs) in water on the uptake of heavy metals by Alternanthera philoxeroides (A. philoxeroides), a common aquatic plant in China known for its rapid growth, strong vitality, and high capacity for heavy metal remediation. This study found that diluted air NBs (25% concentration) boosted cadmium uptake of A. philoxeroides by 17.39%. They also enhanced plant growth (25–50%) and photosynthetic pigments (10–20%) even at low cadmium levels (0.1 mM). Furthermore, the incorporation of 25% air NBs has been demonstrated to significantly amplify the performance of key antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase and catalase, alongside heightened levels of crucial antioxidants such as malondialdehyde. This heightened activity of antioxidant defenses offers a compelling explanation for the potential amelioration of cadmium toxicity and concurrent enhancements in overall plant growth rates. Notably, a comprehensive analysis utilizing the excitation emission matrix–parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC) technique has revealed alterations in the composition of rhizosphere dissolved organic matter due to the presence of NBs. This ncomposition change of the rhizosphere dissolved organic mattermposition has subsequently exerted an influence on plant complexation processes and the subsequent uptake of cadmium. This study demonstrates that the strategic implementation of air NBs in water systems holds the potential to significantly enhance the plant's ability to detoxify cadmium and improve the uptake of heavy metals during phytoremediation processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Alternanthera philoxeroides
- Antioxidant system
- Excitation emission matrix–parallel factor analysis
- Heavy metal detoxification