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Document type
  • Journal Article
GE organism
  • Poplar
  • Arabidopsis
  • tobacco
GE trait
  • phytoremediation
  • United States


  • positive effect

Transgenic plants for enhanced phytoremediation of toxic explosives Review Article

Van Aken, Benoit
Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 2009 April. 20(2):231-236

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PMID: 19278849 DOI: 10.1016/j.copbio.2009.01.011 ISSN: 0958-1669


Phytoremediation of organic pollutants, such as explosives, is often a slow and incomplete process, potentially leading to the accumulation of toxic metabolites that can be further introduced into the food chain. During the past decade, plants have been genetically modified to overcome the inherent limitations of plant detoxification capabilities, following a strategy similar to the development of transgenic crop. Bacterial genes encoding enzymes involved in the breakdown of explosives, such as nitroreductase and cytochrome P450, have been introduced in higher plants, resulting in significant enhancement of plant tolerance, uptake, and detoxification performances. Transgenic plants exhibiting biodegradation capabilities of microorganisms bring the promise of an efficient and environmental-friendly technology for cleaning up polluted soils.


Funding source
  • Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program
  • West Virginia University Research Corporation
Funding country
  • United States
Funding type
  • government

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Cite this study


Van Aken, Benoit. "Transgenic plants for enhanced phytoremediation of toxic explosives." Current Opinion in Biotechnology 20.2 (2009): 231-236. Web. 14 Apr. 2024.


Van Aken, Benoit. (2009). Transgenic plants for enhanced phytoremediation of toxic explosives. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 20(2), 231-236. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2009.01.011

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