New Perspectives on the Metabolism and Detoxification of Synthetic Compounds in Plants

  • Robert Edwards
  • David P. Dixon
  • Ian Cummins
  • Melissa Brazier-Hicks
  • Mark Skipsey
Part of the Plant Ecophysiology book series (KLEC, volume 8)


In attempting to understand the mechanisms by which plants process synthetic compounds we have developed the concept of the ‘Xenome’, which we define as ‘the biosystem responsible for the detection, transport and detoxification of xenobiotics.’ In particular the last 10 years have given us unprecedented insights into the proteins responsible for the metabolism and transport of xenobiotics within plant cells and how these systems are regulated. In this review we identify recent advances in our understanding of the xenome and its role in the detoxification and processing of pollutants and pesticides. In particular, we focus on the role of the phase 1 (oxidoreductase/ hydrolytic), phase 2 (bioconjugation), phase 3 (transport) and phase 4 (metabolic recycling) stages of xenobiotic metabolism and the biosensing systems which control their expression. Ultimately, by understanding the capability of the plant xenome to detoxify xenobiotics, we may be able to predict the likely fate and environmental risk of new synthetic compounds entering the environment and food chain.


Xenobiotic Metabolism Glutathione Conjugate Xenobiotic Detoxification Cyhalofop Butyl Herbicide Metabolism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Edwards
    • 1
  • David P. Dixon
    • 2
  • Ian Cummins
    • 2
  • Melissa Brazier-Hicks
    • 2
  • Mark Skipsey
    • 2
  1. 1.The Food and Environment AgencySand Hutton, YorkUK
  2. 2.Centre for Bioactive ChemistryDurham University, School of Biological and Biomedical SciencesDurhamUK

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