Suitability of genetically modified plants for phytoextraction and phytovolatilization
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Phytoremediation is a field of science and technology that uses plants to clean up polluted soil and water. Metal hyperaccumulator plants are naturally capable of accumulating trace elements, primarily Ni, Zn, Cd, As or Se in their above-ground tissues, without developing any toxicity symptoms. Although these plants appear to have ideal properties for phytoextraction, most of them produce little biomass and grow only in ecosystems that are characteristic for them. The introduction of novel traits into high biomass plants using a transgenic approach is a promising strategy for the development of effective phytoremediation technologies. A number of transgenic plants have been generated in an attempt to modify: (a) trace element uptake from environment, (b) transport to organelles, (c) allocation within the plants, (d) synthesis of metal complexing ligands present in the cell or exported to the apoplast and/or environment, (e) metabolism of the metal containing a compound. Many experimental results demonstrate that a single-gene plant transformation rarely leads to intended phenotypes. In this paper, we present some selected results dealing with suitability of genetically modified plants for phytoremediation.
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Danuta Maria Antosiewicz, Zaklad Ekotoksykologii, Wydzial Biologii, Instytut Biologii Eksperymentalnej Roslin, Uniwersytet Warszawski, ul. Miecznikowa 1, 02-096 Warszawa, Poland