UA SBRP Mexican Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI), Yoav Bashan, was recently awarded a National Council of Science and Technology Basic Research Program (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología Programa de “Investigacion Basica”) grant in the amount of $71,400 for his project entitled, “Phytostabilization of mine tailings in northwestern Mexico: The role of plant-soil-microbe interactions”. The duration of the grant is three years, beginning in 2007.
Dr. Bashan works collaboratively with SBRP PI, Dr. Raina Maier on her project entitled, “Phytostabilization of Mine Tailings in the Southwestern United States: Plant-Soil-Microbe Interactions and Metal Speciation Dynamics”. Together, they work internationally and seek to leverage SBRP funding to investigate easy, low-cost ways to revegetate mine tailings using native plants with the least amount of site preparation, fertilizer and maintenance. In order to meet this overall goal, the following research objectives have been set:
- Investigate whether the specific selection of metal- and drought-tolerant native plant species in conjunction with the controlled use of a seed inoculum developed from indigenous plant growth promoting bacteria can minimize the requirement for organic matter amendment and irrigation.
- Monitor the bioavailability, speciation, and phase distribution of contaminating metals in the plant rhizosphere in both greenhouse and field trials in order to assess whether revegetation results in a permanent reduction in site toxicity.
- Investigate the effects of specific root-microbe-tailings associations on the local biogeochemistry and metal speciation of the rhizosphere in order to identify mechanisms involved in phytostabilization and detoxification at the micrometer and submicrometer scale.
Please join the UA SBRP in congratulating Dr. Bashan.