Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.365, No.3, 453-458, 2008
Phytodegradation of organophosphorus compounds by transgenic plants expressing a bacterial organophosphorus hydrolase
Organophosphorus (OP) compounds are widely used as pesticides in agriculture but cause broad-area environmental pollution. In this work, we have expressed a bacterial organophosphorus hydrolase (OPH) gene in tobacco plants. An assay of enzyme activity showed that transgenic plants could secrete OPH into the growth medium. The transgenic plants were resistant to methyl parathion (Mep), an OP pesticide, as evidenced by a toxicity test showing that the transgenic plants produced greater shoot and root biomass than did the wild-type plants. Furthermore, at 0.02% (v/v) Mep, the transgenic plants degraded more than 99% of Mep after 14 days of growth. Our work indicates that transgenic plants expressing an OPH gene may provide a new strategy for decontaminating OP pollutants. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.