Nav: Home

Plants engineered to express a fruit fly gene may help clean up environmental pollutant

December 07, 2016

Through a process called phytoremediation, researchers are using plants to clean up land contaminated with TNT, a toxic environmental pollutant and possible carcinogen. Now a new study shows how a gene found in the common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, can be used by Arabidopsis plants to improve TNT removal from contaminated soil.

When investigators engineered Arabidopsis plants to express the glutathione transferase (DmGSTE6) gene found in fruit flies, they found that plants expressing the gene were more resistant to TNT and were better able to remove it from contaminated soil than wild-type plants without the gene.

"Areas of land contaminated with explosives are a threat to human health and the environment. We know that TNT does not readily break down in the environment, but by using specially developed plants we could be able to tackle this problem," said Dr. Elizabeth Rylott, co-author of the New Phytologist study.
-end-


Wiley

Related Plants Articles:

How plants react to fungi
Using special receptors, plants recognize when they are at risk of fungal infection.
Flame retardants -- from plants
Flame retardants are present in thousands of everyday items, from clothing to furniture to electronics.
Directed evolution comes to plants
Accelerating plant evolution with CRISPR paves the way for breeders to engineer new crop varieties.
Plants are also stressed out
What will a three-degree-warmer world look like? When experiencing stress or damage from various sources, plants use chloroplast-to-nucleus communication to regulate gene expression and help them cope.
How plants defend themselves
Like humans and animals, plants defend themselves against pathogens with the help of their immune system.
More Plants News and Plants Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...