Efficient phytoremediation of organic contaminants in soils using plant–endophyte partnerships

Nai-Xian FENG, Jiao YU, Hai-Ming ZHAO, Yu-Ting CHENG, Ce-Hui MO, Quan-Ying CAI, Yan-Wen LI, Hui LI, Ming Hung WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


Soil pollution with organic contaminants is one of the most intractable environmental problems today, posing serious threats to humans and the environment. Innovative strategies for remediating organic-contaminated soils are critically needed. Phytoremediation, based on the synergistic actions of plants and their associated microorganisms, has been recognized as a powerful in situ approach to soil remediation. Suitable combinations of plants and their associated endophytes can improve plant growth and enhance the biodegradation of organic contaminants in the rhizosphere and/or endosphere, dramatically expediting the removal of organic pollutants from soils. However, for phytoremediation to become a more widely accepted and predictable alternative, a thorough understanding of plant–endophyte interactions is needed. Many studies have recently been conducted on the mechanisms of endophyte-assisted phytoremediation of organic contaminants in soils. In this review, we highlight the superiority of organic pollutant-degrading endophytes for practical applications in phytoremediation, summarize alternative strategies for improving phytoremediation, discuss the fundamental mechanisms of endophyte-assisted phytoremediation, and present updated information regarding the advances, challenges, and new directions in the field of endophyte-assisted phytoremediation technology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-368
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online dateJan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


Feng, N.-X., Yu, J., Zhao, H.-M., Cheng, Y.-T., Mo, C.-H., Cai, Q.-Y., et al. (2017). Efficient phytoremediation of organic contaminants in soils using plant–endophyte partnerships. Science of The Total Environment, 583, 352-368. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.01.075


  • Co-metabolism
  • Endophyte
  • Omics
  • Organic contaminated soil
  • Phytoremediation


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