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Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Apr 3;46(7):4016-24. doi: 10.1021/es203753b. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Phytoremediation of trichlorophenol by Phase II metabolism in transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing a Populus glucosyltransferase.

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College of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.


Trichlorophenol (TCP) and its derivatives are introduced into the environment through numerous sources, including wood preservatives and biocides. Environmental contamination by TCPs is associated with human health risks, necessitating the development of cost-effective remediation techniques. Efficient phytoremediation of TCP is potentially feasible because it contains a hydroxyl group and is suitable for direct phase II metabolism. In this study, we present a system for TCP phytoremediation based on sugar conjugation by overexpressing a Populus putative UDP-glc-dependent glycosyltransferase (UGT). The enzyme PtUGT72B1 displayed the highest TCP-conjugating activity among all reported UGTs. Transgenic Arabidopsis demonstrated significantly enhanced tolerances to 2,4,5-TCP and 2,4,6-TCP. Transgenic plants also exhibited a strikingly higher capacity to remove TCP from their media. This work indicates that Populus UGT overexpression in Arabidopsis may be an efficient method for phytoremoval and degradation of TCP. Our findings have the potential to provide a suitable remediation strategy for sites contaminated by TCP.

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