Transgenic tobacco expressing fungal laccase promotes the detoxification of environmental pollutants.

Sonoki T, Kajita S, Ikeda S, Uesugi M, Tatsumi K, Katayama Y, Iimura Y.

Institute for Environmental Management Technology, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0053, Japan.


The phytoremediation of soils contaminated with organic pollutants offers a low-cost method for removal of such pollutants. We have attempted to enhance the environmental decontamination functions of plants by introducing appropriate enzymatic activities from microorganisms. In the present study, we introduced an extracellular fungal enzyme, the laccase of Coriolus versicolor, into tobacco plants. One transgenic plant, designated FL4, produced laccase that was secreted into the rhizosphere. FL4 was able to remove 20 micromol bisphenol A or pentachlorophenol per gram dry weight. The efficiency of this removal was apparently greater than that of control lines. Our results should stimulate efforts to develop plant-based technologies for the removal of environmental pollutants from contaminated environments.

PMID: 15549288 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]