ENVIS Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, April 13, 2024


Environmental scientists at NBRI have been involved in undertaking multidisciplinary R&D for understanding the mechanism of toxicity caused by different pollutants in air, water and soil and finding sustainable solutions by identifying plants for combating and monitoring environmental pollution.
Extensive field assessments and laboratory verifications of plants response to different air and water pollutants helped identify tolerant plants which can be grown in polluted areas and sensitive plants which can be used as bioindicators, and accumulators for biomonitoring and bioaccumulation of various pollutants.
The scientists have developed plants and microbe- based remedies for bioremediation of metals and biodegradation of petroleum sludge and pesticides. The Institute is engaged in translational research to understand the mechanism of Arsenic transport, metabolism and accumulation in rice, especially in the paddy growing areas of West Bengal, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.
The Arsenic problem is addressed through two approaches:
  1. Identifying rice varieties with efficient partitioning of arsenic accumulation in grain through conventional screening of genotypes and genetic engineering.
  2. Employing phytoremediation techniques using hyperaccumulating ferns and other plants to remove the contaminant from soil.
Four cultivars having low grain arsenic levels safe for human consumption have been identified and final field trials on them are currently underway. With the threat of global warming and climate change looming large, the R&D has been geared to study the impact of emission of methane, nitrous oxides, ozone and carbon dioxide, and their effect in crops and forest species. The main goals of such studies are C-budgeting and GHG mitigation.