RAMR2D network scholarship holders

RAMR2D > Scholars > Alassane DIALLO

Affiliated CEAs :

  • CEA Mines et Environnement de Côte d'Ivoire (MEM) in Ivory Coast
  • CEA émergent Mines et Sociétés at the Institut Supérieur des Mines et Géologie de Boké (ISMGB) in Guinea.


Mouna FAHR, Faculty of Science, Mohammed V University, Rabat, fahr@um5r.ac.ma

Co-supervision :

Alphonse YAO, Institut National Polytechnique Félix HOUPHOUET BOIGNY, Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire, alphonse.yao@inphb.ci

Other supervision and contributions : 

Abdelaziz SMOUNI, Faculty of Science, Mohammed V University, Rabat, a.smouni@um5r.ac.ma



Lead and Zinc tolerance and accumulation in metallicolous and non-metallicolous populations of Peganum harmala L: potential use in phytostabilization, https://doi.org/10.1080/10889868.2023.2277922



RAMR2D > Scholars > Alassane DIALLO

Start date: 01/11/2021
Anticipated date of thesis defense: December 2024
ORCID profile
: 0009-0003-5700-2277

Analysis of plant species native to mining sites in Côte d'Ivoire and Morocco and development of phytoremediation processes: prospects for methodological application in West Africa

Summary of the scientific project
Mining activities in Africa are significant, accounting for 10% of global production and hosting 30% of mineral resources. However, these activities have major negative impacts on ecosystems and biodiversity. Phytoremediation is emerging as an ecological and affordable alternative for restoring degraded mining sites, mainly in developing countries. However, in West Africa, studies on these issues are rare on a territorial scale. This thesis aims to develop an inclusive approach by analyzing the dominant plant species in mining sites in Côte d'Ivoire and Morocco. After characterizing the contamination, tolerant and hyperaccumulative species will be identified and subjected to physiological and biochemical analyses. This work will make it possible to propose innovative phytoremediation solutions adapted to degraded mining ecosystems, thus promoting the transfer of knowledge and technologies on a regional scale.

Summary of results :

This study conducted a comprehensive analysis of morphological, physiological and biochemical responses to lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) in three metallicolous (MP) and one non-metallicolous (NMP) populations of P. harmala. Soils at the Moroccan sites had low organic matter content and high Pb and Zn concentrations, indicating significant contamination. Exposure to Pb and Zn significantly reduced above-ground biomass in NMP, MP-Mibladen and MP-Aouli compared with MP-Zaida. Root biomass was also significantly reduced in NMP compared with MP. Anthocyanin content was notably higher in MP-Zaida under Pb exposure. Proline content and antioxidant enzyme activities were significantly higher in NMP than in MP under Pb and Zn exposure. NMP accumulated higher levels of Pb and Zn in both roots and aerial parts than MP, suggesting greater accumulation but lower tolerance. MP-Zaida showed lower metal accumulation and higher tolerance, making it a promising candidate for phytostabilization.

Integration of the thesis project into the local, regional and international scientific community:

It is becoming a major challenge to come up with sustainable solutions that are built and accepted by all stakeholders, in order to steer mining activity towards greater responsibility, as the impacts will add up to those of climate change, all of which will have severe consequences for populations, their living conditions and their health: It is becoming urgent to combine these inclusive issues for a development that simultaneously reduces negative environmental footprints (Hund et al 2020), an objective declined in the specific framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and extractive mining activity in general (Mapping Mining SDGs).

The preservation and restoration of mining ecosystems and their biodiversity is thus a major societal challenge to preserve the chances of improving the well-being and health of populations (UNUNEP, 2018; 2020 Summit - United Nations on Biodiversity) and in line with the "green transition" priority of the high-level political dialogue between the African Union and the European Union (https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/strategy/strategy-2020 2024 /europeworld /international-cooperation/eu-africa-cooperation/green-transition-priority).

In this sense in particular, the degradation of the functioning of "mining" ecosystems and their biodiversity is a major area to address in West Africa, where the Living Biodiversity index decreased by 65% between 1970 and 2016, linked to 40% to changes in land and ocean use (WWF living planet report, 2020), changes estimated at a minimum of 6% from mining activity in protected areas (Rachel et al. 2019).

In Morocco, the environmental aspects linked to mining activities are among the important projects to which the country is giving increasing importance. The 2015 Mining Code (law 33/13 of July 1, 2015) is the legislative expression of this, including several measures relating to the environment.

Université Mohammed-V, the country's oldest and one of its most important universities, is actively involved in this major project, and has made the "environment" one of its strategic research priorities. The challenges of preserving and promoting biodiversity in general, and plants adapted to the mining context and hyperaccumulators of metals in particular, are global, both in terms of restoring degraded environments (phytostabilization, depollution), bio-recycling metals (phytomining) and preparing future sustainable development sectors.

Prospects after completion of thesis:

I'd like to do a postdoc to stay in the research field.