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Microbial Bioremediation of Non-metals: Current Research | Book
  1. Bioremediation approaches for organic pollutants: a critical perspective. - Semantic Scholar
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  3. Pocket K No. 25: Biotech Plants for Bioremediation

Metal-tolerant species protect themselves from the toxicity of metal ions by binding metals ions with specific proteins that render them in a safer form.

Bioremediation approaches for organic pollutants: a critical perspective. - Semantic Scholar

Three classes of proteins are important for metal detoxification in plants: metallothioneins, phytochelatins, and glutathione. The genes coding for these have been successfully used to improve phytoremediators through genetic engineering. For example, shrub tobacco Nicotiana glauca transformed with the phytochelatin TaPCS1 shows very high levels of accumulation of zinc, lead, cadmium, nickel, and boron, and produces high biomass 3.

In Arabidopsis , Indian mustard, and tobacco plants, improved metal tolerance was achieved through the over-expression of enzymes that induce the formation of phytochelatins 4, 5, and 6. Plants naturally tolerant to heavy metals have also been used as a source of genes for phytoremediation. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing a selenocysteine methyltransferase SMTA gene from the selenium hyperaccumulator Astralagus bisulcatus contain eight times more selenium in their biomass when grown on selenite compared to non-transgenic controls.

Comparison of gene expression profiles between Arabidopsis thaliana and the closely related species A.

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Mammalian P cytochrome genes have been used to confer herbicide resistance to crop plants, which can be used in herbicide rotation systems designed to delay the evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds, and to reduce the environmental load of agricultural chemicals 5, 6. Millions of tons of explosives have been released into the environment, with the resulting pollution of vast expanses of land and water resources.

Explosives, and their degradation products, are extremely toxic and corrosive. Landmines affect millions of people, both combatants and civilians, in over 80 countries. Sixty to 70 million active landmines exist throughout the world, and these claim the lives and limbs of 50 people every day, and threaten the livelihood of many more by denying them access to humanitarian aid, agricultural land, and water resources. Efforts are underway to develop transgenic plants that can be used to warn civilians of the presence of landmines in a field Arabidopsis whose roots change color when they come into contact with degradation products of landmines have been developed.

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Scientists are now working to allow the plant to transmit the signal to their leaves, to effect human-readable changes for a practical explosives detection system. Mercury is a highly toxic element found both naturally and as an introduced contaminant in the environment, and is a very serious global environmental problem. Organic mercury organomercurials , the most toxic form to living organisms, is produced when bacteria in the water and soil convert elemental mercury into methylmercury.

Methylmercury is easily absorbed and accumulates at high levels in the food chain. Mercury poisoning affects the immune system, damages the nervous system, and is harmful to developing fetuses. Detoxification of organomercurials has been achieved in transgenic plants by transforming Arabidopsis, tobacco, poplar trees, Indian mustard, and eastern cotton wood with two bacterial genes, merA and merB. The combined actions of merA and merB transform methylmercury to the volatile elemental form, which is times less toxic, and is released by the plant to the atmosphere at non-toxic concentrations through transpiration.

Arsenic occurs naturally in rocks and soil, and is released into underground water. Consumption of contaminated drinking water leads to skin disorders, gangrene, and cancer of the kidneys and bladder.

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In addition, high levels of arsenic in agricultural land degrade soils, reduce crop yields, and introduce the pollutant to the food chain 8. Jamie Woodward. Field Notes from a Catastrophe. The Politics of Climate Change. Anthony Giddens. This Changes Everything. Naomi Klein. The Two-Mile Time Machine. Richard B. The Carbon Crunch. Dieter Helm. George Monbiot. Mark A. Merchants of Doubt. Erik M.

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Bioremediation of Organic Contaminants

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Pocket K No. 25: Biotech Plants for Bioremediation

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