Novel Use of Plant Tissue Culture for Site-adapted, Acid Soil, Heavy Metal Tolerant, Native Plants Useful for Mine Land Reclamation
Department of Agriculture
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Small Business Information
SMK PLANTS, LLC
5477 GENE SARAZEN DR, Billings, MT, 59106
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractSMK Plants LLC will use plant tissue culture to quickly produce large numbers of acid-soil heavy-metal tolerant (AHMT) locally-adapted native plants suitable for revegetating land contaminated by hard rock mining wastes. Large numbers of AHMT plants are in demand because of the immense area of degraded mine land needing to be reclaimed. It will take billions of dollars to reclaim these lands. We proved in SBIR Phase I the principle that we can find, collect, and tissue culture native plants which grow directly on acidic heavy-metal (AHM)contaminated soil. These plants multiply and root similarly to commercial ornamental plant species with similar production costs, making them economical for reclamation. The goal for our SBIR Phase II project is to tissue culture locally adapted native plant species growing on AHM soils, then successfully grow and over-winter them under commercial greenhouse conditions, and eventually use them to revegetate AHM sites. We will prove that our plants are AHMT with greenhouse and field trials over the two year project term. We will identify native plants that are highly desired by mine land reclamationists by using end-user surveys and canvassing our own contacts. We will have an inventory of AHMT plants for use by August 2010. Revegetation of degraded mine land will benefit society by reducing wind and water erosion from these lands,reducing human exposure and improving human health. Reclamation and revegetation will also improve wildlife habitat, improve aesthetics and recreational values, and may help endangered species.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.