Novel Use of Plant Tissue Culture for Site-adapted, Acid Soil, Heavy Metal Tolerant, Native Plants Useful for Mine Land Revegetation.
Department of Agriculture
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Small Business Information
SMK Plants, LLC
5477 Gene Sarazen Dr., Billings, MT, 59106
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThere is a need for native plants tolerant of low soil pH and elevated heavy metal concentrations to revegetate acid mine land in the Rocky Mountain west. Acid/ heavy metal tolerant (AHMT) plants are necessary because of the immense area of acid mine land that needs reclamation. Mining wastes have contaminated 3,346 miles of rivers in six Western states, including 1,118 in Montana. It will cost billions of dollars reclaim these lands. Some researchers have experimented with using plant seed collected from such sites as a way to produce AHMT locally-adapted native plants. However, many native plants are difficult to propagate by seed for a variety of reasons. Vegetative production also is not successful for many species. Plant tissue culture is a way to solve these problems, but none of the most desired native species has been cultured before, and none which are AHMT. This proposal describes research to develop AHMT plants using plant tissue culture for mine site revegetation. SMK Plants will collect native plant material from AHM sites and initiate them into sterile culture. We will attain commercial shoot multiplication and rooting rates. If we attain such rates, we will be able to provide cost competitive AHMT plants which can be used for mine land revegetation. Revegetation of degraded mined land will benefit society by reducing wind and water erosion from these lands in turn reducing toxic materials in the air we breathe and the water we drink. It will improve wildlife habitat, and benefit threatened/endangered species.
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