By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

Engineering a catabolic pathway in plants for the degradation of 1,2-dichloroethane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalPlant Physiology
DatePublished - Jul 2008
Issue number3
Volume147
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)1192-1198
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Plants are increasingly being employed to clean up environmental pollutants such as heavy metals; however, a major limitation of phytoremediation is the inability of plants to mineralize most organic pollutants. A key component of organic pollutants is halogenated aliphatic compounds that include 1,2-dichloroethane (1,2-DCA). Although plants lack the enzymatic activity required to metabolize this compound, two bacterial enzymes, haloalkane dehalogenase (DhlA) and haloacid dehalogenase (DhlB) from the bacterium Xanthobacter autotrophicus GJ10, have the ability to dehalogenate a range of halogenated aliphatics, including 1,2-DCA. We have engineered the dhlA and dhlB genes into tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum 'Xanthi') plants and used 1,2-DCA as a model substrate to demonstrate the ability of the transgenic tobacco to remediate a range of halogenated, aliphatic hydrocarbons. DhlA converts 1,2-DCA to 2-chloroethanol, which is then metabolized to the phytotoxic 2-chloroacetaldehyde, then chloroacetic acid, by endogenous plant alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities, respectively. Chloroacetic acid is dehalogenated by DhlB to produce the glyoxylate cycle intermediate glycolate. Plants expressing only DhlA produced phytotoxic levels of chlorinated intermediates and died, while plants expressing DhlA together with DhlB thrived at levels of 1,2-DCA that were toxic to DhlA-expressing plants. This represents a significant advance in the development of a low-cost phytoremediation approach toward the clean-up of halogenated organic pollutants from contaminated soil and groundwater.

    Research areas

  • XANTHOBACTER-AUTOTROPHICUS GJ10, MAJOR DNA ADDUCT, HALOALKANE DEHALOGENASE, PHYTOREMEDIATION, GENE, 1,2-DIBROMOETHANE, DEHYDROGENASE, EXPRESSION, STABILITY, AQUIFER

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations