HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
New discovery: If it weren't for this enzyme, decomposing pesticide would take millennia

CHAPEL HILL An enzyme inside a bacterium that grows in the soil of potato fields can -- in a split second -- break down residues of a common powerful pesticide used for killing worms on potatoes, researchers have found.

That may be expensive for farmers but lucky for the environment because University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists have now discovered that if that particular enzyme weren't there, it would take 10,000 years for just half of the widely used pesticide to decompose. And the chemical would remain in the soil of the potato fields where it is now used in colossal amounts, contaminating groundwater and posing a threat to human and animal health.

A report on the unusual discovery appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Monday (Oct. 24). Authors are Christopher M. Horvat, a UNC chemistry major from Spruce Pine, who plans to become a physician, and Dr. Richard V. Wolfenden, Alumni Distinguished professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the UNC School of Medicine.

"The half-life of the pesticide is longer, by several orders of magnitude, than the half-lives of other known environmental pollutants in water," Wolfenden said. "The half lives of atrazine, aziridine, paraoxon and 1, 2-dichloroethane, for example, are five months, 52 hours, 13 months and 72 years, respectively."

In contrast, the half-life of the potato pesticide residue chloroacrylate -- 10,000 years -- matches the half-life of plutonium-239, the hazardous isotope produced in nuclear power plants, he said.

The bacteria Pseudomonas pavonaceae have evolved in the soil in which the potato pesticide 1, 3-dichloropropene is used and can grow on it as their only source of carbon and energy, the scientist said. The enzyme responsible for degrading the pesticide may have evolved since the chemical's first use on potato fields in 1946. Common names for the agricultural product are Shell D-D and Telone II.

"There is a
'"/>

Contact: David Williamson
rdtokids@email.unc.edu
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
24-Oct-2005


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Biting discovery: MU entomologist finds host of new aquatic insect species in Thailand
2. New discovery: Molecular variation in one gene affects the growth of natural populations
3. The thrill of discovery: Pitt professor reveals how he gets students interested in science
4. The stem cells that werent there
5. Researchers create model of cancer-preventing enzyme, study how it works
6. Elevated inflammatory enzyme, Lp-PLA2, significantly linked to ischemic stroke
7. 100 percent of pregnant women have at least one kind of pesticide in their placenta
8. Premature births may be linked to seasonal levels of pesticides and nitrates in surface water
9. Mayo researcher discovers target site for developing mosquito pesticides
10. Fake pesticides threaten food safety
11. Most widely used organic pesticide requires help to kill

Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/24/2015)... WASHINGTON , March 24, 2015   NexID ... applications with critical security-authentication needs, today announced the beginning ... fake-finger-detection (FFD) solution. The company, based in ... announcement at the three-day Connect:ID Expo, which began here ... NexID said version 2.0 of its SDK boosts ...
(Date:3/23/2015)... SoundView Technology Group issues a new research update following the ... wallet. SoundView was one of the selected user groups to provide ... in multiple scenarios and outlets. Soundview shares ... both debit and credit card payments.  Soundview ... meets their plans in 2015, it would push our IV ...
(Date:3/23/2015)... , March 23, 2015  In the 2014 fiscal ... case conviction losses. This figure accounts for a fraction ... to The Nilson Report, exceeds $11 billion globally. The ... after a crime has occurred. Investor Mark Saint ... expert Joe Paolella partnered to administer the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):NexID Begins Shipments Of Version 2.0 Fake-Finger-Detection Solution 2Technology Research Note Update from SoundView; Real-World Usage and Feedback of Wocket Smart Wallet at CVS, Whole Foods and other Retailers 2Technology Research Note Update from SoundView; Real-World Usage and Feedback of Wocket Smart Wallet at CVS, Whole Foods and other Retailers 3Technology Research Note Update from SoundView; Real-World Usage and Feedback of Wocket Smart Wallet at CVS, Whole Foods and other Retailers 4Polygraph Test Now Used to Protect Investors From Fraud 2Polygraph Test Now Used to Protect Investors From Fraud 3
(Date:5/4/2015)... 2015   St. Jude Children,s Research Hospital ... tool for finding genetic alterations that play an ... to identify with whole-genome sequencing. The findings appear ... . The tool is an algorithm ... Regression Tree in Next Generation Sequencing. ...
(Date:5/4/2015)... STONY BROOK, N.Y. , May 4, 2015 ... executed a $250,000 cooperative research and development agreement ... ) to advance the development of TRB-N0224 for ... companion animals, including dogs and cats.  Traverse Biosciences ... sublicense TRB-N0224 for the treatment and control of ...
(Date:5/4/2015)... , May 4, 2015  RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. ... that an independent team of researchers from ... Thymosin B4 (TB4) plays an important role in ... induced in an experimental mouse model, by promoting ... of damaged dermal tissue.  The research found that ...
(Date:5/4/2015)... 2015  Soligenix, Inc. (OTCQB: SNGX) (Soligenix or the ... unmet medical needs in the areas of inflammation, oncology ... preclinical data from three of its biodefense programs at ... Conference on May 12-14, 2015 to be held at ... St. Louis MO 63101. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Scientists dramatically improve method for finding common genetic alterations in tumors 2Scientists dramatically improve method for finding common genetic alterations in tumors 3Scientists dramatically improve method for finding common genetic alterations in tumors 4Traverse Biosciences Executes Agreement with Aratana Therapeutics to Advance Development of TRB-N0224 for the Treatment and Control of Periodontal Disease in Pets 2Traverse Biosciences Executes Agreement with Aratana Therapeutics to Advance Development of TRB-N0224 for the Treatment and Control of Periodontal Disease in Pets 3Traverse Biosciences Executes Agreement with Aratana Therapeutics to Advance Development of TRB-N0224 for the Treatment and Control of Periodontal Disease in Pets 4Researchers Report that Thymosin B4 has a Major Role in Dermal Burn Wound Healing 2Researchers Report that Thymosin B4 has a Major Role in Dermal Burn Wound Healing 3Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 2Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 3Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 4Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 5Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 6Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 7Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 8Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 9Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 10Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 11Soligenix Announces Presentation and Poster at the 2015 Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology Conference in St. Louis, MO 12
Cached News: