Kinetics of nitroreductase-mediated phytotransformation of TNT in vetiver grass

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Department of Biological Sciences


The effectiveness of vetiver grass in removing 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and the involvement of nitroreductase (NR) enzyme in TNT degradation in vetiver has been documented in our earlier studies. The present study was designed to optimize the parameters influencing NR enzyme-mediated TNT transformation in vetiver. The current study is the first report of detailed kinetic examination of NR enzyme induced by TNT in vetiver. Results show that NR activity in vetiver root increased with exposure time as well as with initial TNT concentration, showing a first-order reaction kinetics at lower and a second-order reaction kinetics at higher TNT concentrations. Nitroreductase activity was higher in shoot compared to root in all TNT treatments. Increasing concentration of TNT resulted in a significant increase in the NR activity in shoot. Very high increase in the shoot NR activity indicates a faster root-to-shoot translocation of TNT. The optimum range of the factors influencing NR-mediated TNT transformation and the kinetic parameters were determined, which will be crucial for the application of vetiver for phytoremediation of TNT-contaminated systems.

Publisher's Statement

© 2016, Islamic Azad University (IAU). Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-016-1128-7

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology