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MEW Superfund Site: TCE Groundwater Plume
Endophytic phytoremediation hybrid poplar trees NASA

Planted (2013)

Endophyte enhanced phytoremediation cleaning environmental contaminants Moffett field NASA

3 years of growth (2016)

Microbe enhanced phytoremediation using hybrid poplar trees. NASA Moffet field site. Environmental contamination remedation.

Working with NASA-Ames Environmental Remediation Group and the EPA, this site was our first field deployment of Endophyte Assisted Phytoremediation, at one of the region’s largest Superfund sites with TCE groundwater contamination. Intrinsyx planted 300 hybrid poplar trees as 12-inch cuttings. Within a year, the benefits of using our PDN3 bacterial endophyte to inoculate trees were visible, exhibiting a TCE tolerance phenotype. By using phyto-forensics sampling of tree cores, we showed that the inoculated trees had a thousand-fold less TCE accumulation than the uninoculated control. After plantation of 700 more trees (1000 total), and through using groundwater sampling wells upgradient vs. downgradient of the tree plantation, EPA and NASA showed that these trees were removing all the contaminants in the shallow aquifer. In 2017, these results were published in Environmental Science & Technology ES&T.


Based on the successful results of the pilot study, we have now deployed this TRL9 technology at dozens of sites across the US either on our own or through working with major Environmental Engineering firms.




Moffett Field, CA





Type of Remediation:

Endophyte Assisted Phytoremediation

Services Provided: 

Site Characterization, Remedial Design, Enhanced in-planta Bioremediation, Groundwater monitoring, Phytoforensics

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