Accumulation, distribution and transformation of DDT and PCBs by Phragmites australis and Oryza sativa L. II. Enzyme study

W. K. Chu, Ming Hung WONG, Jianhua ZHANG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Two wetland plant species, Phragmites australis and Oryza sativa, were grown in a glasshouse under hydroponics conditions. Enzyme extracts from different parts of the plants were used to determine the transformation rate of o,p′-DDT, p,p′-DDT and PCBs. The organic pollutants were directly spiked into the enzyme extracts, and samples were collected every 30 min and analyzed with a GC-ECD. Root extracts of P. australis readily degraded and transformed DDT and some PCB congeners with a low degree of chlorination. In contrast, crude extracts of O. sativa showed no appreciable degradation or transformation of DDT or PCBs. Inhibition studies indicated that the degradation and transformation of both DDT and PCBs by P. australis enzymes were partly mediated by peroxidase and the plant P-450 system. PCBs with a high degree of chlorination were highly resistant to transformation or degradation by plant enzymes. Both wetland plant species accumulated substantial quantities of the persistent organic chemicals but had different degradation capacities. The enzyme systems in P. australis were much more effective that those in rice in the degradation and transformation of the organic pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-181
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

User-Defined Keywords

  • DDT
  • Oryza sativa
  • PCBs
  • Persistent organic chemicals
  • Phragmites australis
  • Phytoremediation


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