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Jacob Rossouw

MSc candidate in Plant Biotechnology, University of Stellenbosch Supervisors: Dr Paul Hills (Institute for Plant Biotechnology, Stellenbosch University) and Dr Dave Thompson (SAEON Ndlovu)

Application of strigolactones for phytostabilization of heavy metal contaminated soils

Industrial extraction of resources from the earth consequently leave the environment in a disturbed, empoversihed state that limits the ability to rehabilitate those affected areas. Strigolactone is a plant exudate phytohormone that controls plant structure, enhances nutrient uptake in nutrient-deficient areas, and promotes symbiosis  with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi which increases the surface area available to the plant for absorption. The application of strigolactones to plants such as grasses could potentially promote plant growth and survivorship in the heavy-metal contaminated, nutrient poor and water-stressed areas to i) prevent erosion, ii) initiate carbon and other nutrient cycling, and iii) ultimately enhance rehabilitation efforts of affected sites.

Jacob Rossouw
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