Exploiting Plant Metabolism for the Phytoremediation of Organic Xenobiotics

  • Peter Schröder
Part of the Methods in Biotechnology book series (MIBT, volume 23)


Phytoremediation of organic pollutants has become a topic of great interest in many countries because of the increasing number of recorded spill sites. When applying plant remediation techniques to unknown pollutant mixtures, information on the uptake rates as well as on the final fate of the compounds is generally lacking. A range of compounds is easily taken up by plants, while others may stay motionless and recalcitrant in the soil or sediment. Uptake is a necessary prerequisite for close contact between the pollutant and the detoxifying enzymes, which are localized in the cytosol of living plant cells. The presence and activity of these enzymes is crucial for potential metabolism and further degradation of the chemicals under consideration. Conjugation to biomolecules is regarded as a beneficial detoxification reaction. The present chapter lists several prerequisites for pollutant uptake and summarizes information on conjugating detoxification reactions. The final fate of compounds and the contribution of rhizobacteria are critically discussed and perspectives for the development of this promising technology are given.

Key Words

Glycosyl conjugation glutathione conjugation xenobiotic metabolism plant uptake 


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© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Schröder

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