Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 29, Issue 12, pp 1391–1399 | Cite as

Transgenic tobacco plants expressing atzA exhibit resistance and strong ability to degrade atrazine

Original Paper


Atrazine chlorohydrolase (AtzA) catalyzes hydrolytic dechlorination and can be used in detoxification of atrazine, a herbicide widely employed in the control of broadleaf weeds. In this study, to investigate the potential use of transgenic tobacco plants for phytoremediation of atrazine, atzA genes from Pseudomonas sp. strain ADP and Arthrobacter strain AD1 were transferred into tobacco. Three and four transgenic lines, expressing atzA-ADP and atzA-AD1, respectively, were produced by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Molecular characterization including PCR, RT-PCR and Southern blot revealed that atzA was inserted into the tobacco genome and stably inherited by and expressed in the progenies. Seeds of the T1 transgenic lines had a higher germination percentage and longer roots than the untransformed plants in the presence of 40–150 mg/l atrazine. The T2 transgenic lines grew taller, gained more dry biomass, and had higher total chlorophyll content than the untransformed plants after growing in soil containing 1 or 2 mg/kg atrazine for 90 days. No atrazine residue remained in the soil in which the T2 transgenic lines were grown (except 401), while, in the case of the untransformed plants, 0.91 mg (81.3%) and 1.66 mg (74.1%) of the atrazine still remained in the soil containing 1 and 2 mg/kg of atrazine, respectively, indicating that the transgenic lines could degrade atrazine effectively. The transgenic tobacco lines developed could be useful for phytoremediation of atrazine-contaminated soil and water.


Atrazine Atrazine chlorohydrolase atzA Phytoremediation Transgenic tobacco 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, College of Life SciencesNankai UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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