Pollution Effects on the Legume

Rhizobia Symbiotic Relationship

  • Michael Thomson MacEwan University


The oil-sands are a major industry that in the process of extracting the bitumen, create a byproduct known as tailings which can take decades to settle. One of the components of these tailings is a compound known as naphthenic acid which is the most toxic element. It can hinder reclamation attempts as it is difficult for plant communities to grow and establish in its presence. Our study looks at whether it is possible for legumes to survive in the harsh-conditions of the tailing ponds with the help of rhizobia. We will also look at whether it is possible for the legumes to form this symbiotic relationship to form as the presence of naphthenic acid could deter the relationship from forming. If the legumes could grow in the contaminated soils with the help of rhizobia, then they could be used in the reclamation of the oil sand tailing ponds. *This is a rough draft and will be improved upon*

Discipline: Biology

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Karen  Christensen-Dalsgaard