2. Uptake and Metabolism of Organic Compounds: Green-Liver Model

  1. Steven C. McCutcheon2 and
  2. Jerald L. Schnoor3
  1. J. G. Burken

Published Online: 10 FEB 2004

DOI: 10.1002/047127304X.ch2

Phytoremediation: Transformation and Control of Contaminants

Phytoremediation: Transformation and Control of Contaminants

How to Cite

Burken, J. G. (2003) Uptake and Metabolism of Organic Compounds: Green-Liver Model, in Phytoremediation: Transformation and Control of Contaminants (eds S. C. McCutcheon and J. L. Schnoor), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/047127304X.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 2

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Exposure Research Laboratory, Athens, Georgia, USA

  2. 3

    Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, Missouri, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 FEB 2004
  2. Published Print: 26 SEP 2003

Book Series:

  1. A Wiley-Interscience Series of Texts and Monographs

Book Series Editors:

  1. Jerald L. Schnoor3 and
  2. Alexander Zehnder4

Series Editor Information

  1. 3

    Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

  2. 4

    Swiss Federal Institute for Water Resources and Water Pollution Control, Switzerland

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471394358

Online ISBN: 9780471273042

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Keywords:

  • phytoremediation;
  • plant metabolism;
  • green liver concept;
  • uptake;
  • transformation;
  • conjugation;
  • sequestration;
  • enzymes;
  • pesticides;
  • explosives

Summary

Plant metabolism of organic compounds is a vital phytoremediation process for sustainable waste management. Metabolism appears to follow detoxification or elimination metabolic processes, which are collectively called the “green-liver” model. For this metabolism to take place, the compounds must enter plant tissues; therefore uptake of organic compounds is also covered, with specific applications for phytoremediation.

Plant metabolism of organic compounds shares many processes with mammalian liver function, including (1) the capability to detoxify contaminants, (2) the specific enzymatic pathways, and (3) removal of the compounds from the susceptible organelles. The similarities extend to the very structure of the enzymes involved. The major difference is in the ultimate fate—storage as opposed to excretion in mammals. By understanding the processes that occur within the plants used in phytoremediation, a better knowledge of the potential ecological impacts can be gained. Furthermore, new applications can be developed with the knowledge of plant metabolism and, through molecular engineering techniques, a new paradigm in the plant metabolism of contaminants and phytoremediation should result.