Heritability of Phytoremediation Potential for the Alfalfa CultivarRiley in Petroleum Contaminated Soil Academic Article uri icon


  • Petroleum contamination poses a significant threat to environmental ecosystems world-wide. Phytoremediation can be used to enhance degradation of petroleum contaminants in soil. However, selection of plants for phytoremediation has proven to be complicated. This research examines the heritability of the alfalfa cultivar Riley for phytoremediation based on parental total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) degradation after twelve months of growth. Traits other than degradation potential, such as root and shoot yield, height, and maturity, were examined for use as selection traits. Riley showed moderate to low heritability that suggests the possibility of breeding for phytoremediation efficiency. In addition, root and shoot yield were found to correlate to TPH degradation. Crosses in which the female parent was typically associated with low TPH dissipation yielded progeny that were high efficiency TPH degraders. 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

published proceedings

  • Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

author list (cited authors)

  • Schwab, P., Banks, M. K., & Kyle, W. A.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Schwab, Paul||Banks, MK||Kyle, WA

publication date

  • November 2006