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:7/23/2014)... -- The potential for clinical use of induced ... strategies has previously been hindered by the risk ... tumors. The ability to use etoposide treatment to ... of heart disease, specifically acute myocardial infarction, is ... and Development , a peer-reviewed journal from Mary ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... Minn. , July 23, 2014   ... company specializing in clinical study management systems, is ... , a proven life sciences industry executive with ... Chief Operating Officer (COO).  Clareece will be responsible ... sales growth, operational efficiency and quality product/service delivery.  ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... disease, the devastating neurological disease affecting more than ... new progress on a set of compounds, initially ... a potential oral therapy for Alzheimer,s. Their study ... . , Carlo Ballatore, Kurt R. Brunden and ... protein known as tau binds to and stabilizes ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):MedNet Appoints Clareece West As Chief Operating Officer 2
(Date:7/23/2014)... VEGAS , July 23, 2014  GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. ... today that it is filing for two medical marijuana dispensary ... locations are in addition to the Clark County, ... a special use permit, as previously announced.  GrowBLOX ... to be submitting two new applications for dispensaries in the ...
(Date:7/23/2014)... 23, 2014 a2z Inc. announces that ... App, AACC Pathfinder, in its 2014 Annual Meeting ... meeting is planned for July 29-31, 2014 in Chicago, ... be to connect with global leaders in clinical chemistry, ... other areas of breaking science in laboratory medicine. , ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... D.C., June 22, 2014 Even within a phylum so ... is distinguished among other arthropods for its cruelty -- at ... Central America, the fly is a most predatory sort of ... cricket, deposits a smear of larvae, and leaves its wicked ... out. , None of this would be possible without ...
(Date:7/22/2014)... July 22, 2014 Nuclear reactors are ... produced by controlled fission chain reaction in nuclear reactors ... is used to drive a power- generating turbine. Currently ... the world’s total electricity production. Nuclear reactor market is ... construction, planned and proposed nuclear reactor projects. , Early ...
Breaking Biology Technology:GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. Files for Two Additional Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Las Vegas 2GrowBLOX Sciences, Inc. Files for Two Additional Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Las Vegas 3AACC Enhances Attendee Experience at Its 2014 Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo with a2z-Powered ChirpE Photo Booth and Mobile App 2AACC Enhances Attendee Experience at Its 2014 Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo with a2z-Powered ChirpE Photo Booth and Mobile App 3Fly-inspired sound detector 2Fly-inspired sound detector 3Fly-inspired sound detector 4Nuclear Energy Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Analysis, Growth and Forecast 2013 - 2019 2Nuclear Energy Market: Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Analysis, Growth and Forecast 2013 - 2019 3
Cached News: