Researchers have found a new plant species that eats metal.
According to a new study, a new plant species, Rinorea niccolifera, has been found that possess an unusual lifestyle, i.e. it eats nickel for a living.
The study has been funded by Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).
The researchers at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños have carried the study and discovered Rinorea niccolifera.
According to lead author Edwino Fernando, the newly discovered plant species accumulates up to 18,000 ppm of nickel.
The new plant species was spotted on the western part of Luzon Island in the Philippines. The mentioned area is known for soils rich in heavy metals.
The rare phenomenon of Nickel hyperaccumulation happens with only about 0.5 to 1 percent of plant species. It is noteworthy, only about 450 species are known with this unusual trait.
Co-author Dr. Augustine Doronila said, said in a statement, “Hyperacccumulator plants have great potentials for the development of green technologies, for example, ‘phytoremediation’ and ‘phytomining’.”
Doronila is a professor at the School of Chemistry, University of Melbourne.
The findings of the study were published in the open access journal PhytoKeys.