Transgenic Plants - A Potential Tool for Decontamination of Environmental Pollutants

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K. Francovaa, T. Macekb, K. Demnerovaa, and M. Mackovaa

aDepartment of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, b Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague


Transgenic plant technology showed many obvious advantages over conventional plant growing approaches to crop improvement. Recent discoveries allowed the engineering of new transgenic plants generating desirable products, such as enzymes, polymers and vaccines. Among new approaches, transgenic plants specifically tailored for the bioremediation of organic and heavy-metal pollution have been recently used. This paper gives an overview of results of present research in phytoremediation of the polluted environment using transgenic plants with improved properties. Preparation and properties of genetically modified plants transforming mercury into less toxic forms, plants with improved capabilities of Cd accumulation, plants degrading explosives (TNT) or other substances and oxidising TCE (trichloroethylene) are described. Advantages and disadvantages of the use of genetically modified plants are discussed.


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