Constitutional tolerance to heavy metals of a fiber crop, ramie (Boehmeria nivea), and its potential usage

B. YANG, M. ZHOU, W. S. SHU, C. Y. LAN, Z. H. YE, R. L. QIU, Y. C. JIE, G. X. CUI, Ming Hung WONG

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It is observed that ramie (Boehmeria nivea), an economic fiber crop, can establish and colonize metal-contaminated sites in China. Metal tolerance and accumulation by ramie originating from 13 metal-contaminated and 4 "clean" sites in China were compared under field and hydroponic conditions. All selected populations and germplasms displayed good growth performance under diverse metal-contaminated habitats; while growth responses, metal accumulation and tolerance were similar among the 8 populations and 2 germplasms when exposed to solutions containing elevated As, Cd, Pb, or Zn in the laboratory. These revealed that ramie possesses a certain degree of constitutional metal tolerance. To our knowledge, this is the first report of constitutional metal tolerance possessed by a fiber crop. Ramie can be considered as a good candidate for both fiber production and phytoremediation of sites contaminated by multi-metals, as it accumulates relative low metal concentrations, but possesses both high biomass and high economic value. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-558
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010



Yang, B., Zhou, M., Shu, W. S., Lan, C. Y., Ye, Z. H., Qiu, R. L., . . . Wong, M. H. (2010). Constitutional tolerance to heavy metals of a fiber crop, ramie (Boehmeria nivea), and its potential usage. Environmental Pollution, 158(2), 551-558. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2009.08.043


  • Constitutional tolerance
  • Heavy metals
  • Phytoremediation
  • Ramie