Restored environmental degraded soils

Biotechnology applications will have positive impacts on environments degraded through conventional practices, e.g., restoration of degraded soil using phytoremediation with engineered crops and/or microorganisms. In fact, French et al. (2001) and Hannink et al. (2001) demonstrated detoxification of explosives by transgenic plants expressing a bacterial nitroredu-ctase. Recently, transgenic cottonwood with mercuric ion reductase gene has been field tested for remediation of soil contaminated with mercury (Che et al., 2003). The GM tomato and canola engineered with the anti-port protein described previously (Apse et al., 1999; Zhang and Blumwald, 2001; Zhang et al., 2001) also have potential for phytoremediation of saline soils as the uptake salt was sequestered into leaves' vacuoles that can be removed while the fruits and oil seeds can be harvested for food.

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