Crop metabolomic strategies enabling phytoremediation of contaminated soils

High tolerance plants generate a complex and largely unexplored toolkit of secondary metabolites to manipulate soil contamination. Understanding these biochemical mechanisms could reveal potential pathways by which polluted soils could by rejuvenated, but assessment of root exuded metabolites is currently technically challenging and secondary metabolite content in the biomass of leading phytoremediation crops is still yet to be explored in detail using advanced metabolomics.
This project proposes to first develop a novel and integrated methodology for controlled plant growth, soil contamination treatment and quantitative root exudation sampling. Secondly, to use this methodology to profile root exudates samples from contaminated plants using untargeted metabolomics and advanced bioinformatic analysis. Thirdly, to use untargeted metabolomics to reveal the extractable metabolites significantly induced by soil contamination in a mature field-grown phytoremediation crop and identify candidate biorefinery molecules.
Harnessing the natural complexity of plant stress responses provides a unique opportunity to study the advanced biochemistry of the natural world while also confronting an important threat to Canadian agriculture in a potentially economically feasible and environmentally responsible manner. This project aims to meet this opportunity by integrating new trackable approaches to root exudate profiling, advanced metabolomics and sustainable biorefinery in leading phytoremediation crops.

Adrien Frémont;Eszter Sas
Superviseur universitaire: 
Frédéric Pitre
Partner University: