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Heavy metals both these trace elements necessary for life , as well as those niepełniące any physiological functions constitute a serious threat to human and animal health . Human activities has led to the emergence of huge amounts of these metals in soils around the world. Due to the high toxicity of heavy metals , there is an urgent need to develop more efficient and cheaper methods of soil remediation . Conventional methods of soil remediation are inefficient and expensive , and often result in the destruction of natural habitats . The result is the development of alternative methods , including phytoremediation , in which plants are used as a purifying soil organisms, xenobiotics , including heavy metals. There are a variety of techniques fitoremediacyjnych . For the remediation of soils contaminated with heavy metals may be useful following techniques : phytoextraction , phytostabilization and fitoulatnianie . Fotoekstrakcja involves the removal of contaminants from the soil , which are then stored in the shoots of plants. Unlike phytoextraction , phytostabilization not allow the removal of contaminants from the soil, but they are stabilized and thus unavailable to other organisms. Fitoulatnianie allows the biological conversion of metals in the form of gas and their release into the atmosphere. Although in nature there are plant species capable of phytoremediation , their performance for degraded areas is limited. Natural fitoremediatory , however, a perfect model study cellular mechanisms underlying natural resistance to high concentrations of heavy metals. Indication of the genes involved in these processes will help in getting future transgenic varieties capable of phytoremediation large areas devastated -tion . Currently, most of these attempts to form undertaken using a variety of genes encoding the binding ligands, heavy metals, metal -carrying proteins and enzymes involved in the biological transformation of mercury in gas form . The obtained results remain inconclusive. However, with the increasing need to obtain a low-cost and efficient soil remediation work processes are intensified and perhaps in the near future phytoremediation become a cheap and effective method of purification of soil.
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The Editorial Board
Andrzej Łukaszyk - przewodniczący, Zofia Bielańska-Osuchowska, Szczepan Biliński, Mieczysław Chorąży, Aleksander Koj, Włodzimierz Korochoda, Leszek Kuźnicki, Aleksandra Stojałowska, Lech Wojtczak

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