Authors: Jian Liang Zhang, Chuan Ling Qiao
Addresses: State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, Beijing 100080, China. State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica, Beijing 100080, China
Abstract: The use of synthetic pesticides has become an indispensable tool in agriculture for the control of pests. Therefore, the search for remedies and techniques for decontamination and detoxification of a pesticide-contaminated environment has become an important part of the research. Currently, bioremediation seems to be one of the most environmentally safe and cost-effective methods. In nature, the existence of abundant material resources can be used to degrade the environmental pesticide pollutants. At present, a number of microorganisms, capable of degrading pesticides, have been isolated and characterised. For insects, insecticide resistance-associated esterases have been purified and characterised from several insect species, and a new family of cytochrome P450 apparently associated with insecticide resistance in the tobacco budworm, was discovered. Generally, two bioremediation approaches have been used one directly based on microorganisms, and the other involved in isolated enzymes. For the former, in addition to using natural microorganism strains, with genetic techniques certain desirable biodegradation pathways from different organisms are brought together in a single host. However, because of their own limits, especially problems associated with releasing genetically altered microorganisms into the environment, the strategy based on enzymes seems more feasible. In the long term, collaborations between microbiologists, biochemists, and engineers will become increasingly important to efficiently dispose of the pesticide pollutants.
Keywords: bioremediation; genetic techniques; microorganisms; pesticide pollutants; resistance-associated esterase; resistant insects.
International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2002 Vol.18 No.5, pp.423-433
Available online: 15 Jul 2003 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article