Email Print Share

News From the Field

Arsenic Hyperaccumulating Ferns: How Do They Survive?

June 8, 2010

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Although arsenic is an extremely toxic compound, some ferns accumulate 1-3 percent of their dry weight as arsenic without adverse affects. Recent research published in Plant Cell shows that these ferns have an arsenite transporter protein that allows the fern to sequester arsenic in a biologically inactive form. This protein is also found in mosses, gymnosperms, bacteria, fungi and yeast, but not in angiosperms.Full Story

American Society of Plant Biologists

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page:
NSF News:
For the News Media:
Science and Engineering Statistics:
Awards Searches: