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General Information

Document type
  • Journal Article
GE organism
  • poplar
  • tobacco
  • Arabidopsis
GE trait
  • phytoremediation
  • United Kingdom


  • positive effect
Safety for environment
  • positive effect

Plants disarm soil: engineering plants for the phytoremediation of explosives Review Article

Rylott, Elizabeth L; Bruce, Neil C
Trends in Biotechnology. 2009 February. 27(2):73-81

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PMID: 19110329 DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.11.001 ISSN: 0167-7799


Explosives are toxic, recalcitrant to degradation and contaminate large areas of land and ground water. Remediation of these synthetic compounds is difficult and an enormous logistical task. Phytoremediation is a technique that offers an environmentally friendly, low-cost alternative to current remediation techniques; however, this approach is hindered by the low inherent metabolic abilities of plants towards these xenobiotic compounds and the phytotoxicity of these compounds. As a result of recent advances in our knowledge of the biochemistry underlying endogenous plant detoxification systems and the use of genetic engineering to combine bacterial explosives-detoxifying genes with the phytoremediatory benefits of plants, this technology is now poised for testing in the field and in a wider range of plants, such as poplar and perennial grasses.




Funding source
  • The Strategic Environmental Research and DEvelopment Program (Department of Defense)
  • UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • UK Ministry of Defense
Funding country
  • United States
  • UK
Funding type
  • government

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Cite this study


Rylott, Elizabeth L, Neil C Bruce. "Plants disarm soil: engineering plants for the phytoremediation of explosives." Trends in Biotechnology 27.2 (2009): 73-81. Web. 28 May. 2024.


Rylott, Elizabeth L., Bruce, Neil C. (2009). Plants disarm soil: engineering plants for the phytoremediation of explosives. Trends in Biotechnology, 27(2), 73-81. doi:10.1016/j.tibtech.2008.11.001

Please verify citations before use, citations are automatically generated based on information stored within the GENERA database and therefore may or may not be correct.