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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phytophotolysis of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine ( RDX) in leaves of reed canary grass.

Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine ( RDX) was degraded in reed canary grass leaves exposed to simulated sunlight to primary products nitrous oxide and 4-nitro-2,4-diazabutanal. This is the first time that 4-nitro-2,4-diazabutanal, a potentially toxic degradate, has been measured in plant tissues following phytotransformation of RDX. These compounds, along with nitrite and formaldehyde, were also detected in aqueous RDX systems exposed to the same simulated sunlight. Results showed that the initial products of RDX photodegradation in translucent plant tissues were similar to products formed from aqueous photolysis of RDX. Combustion analysis of leaves following 14C-RDX uptake and subsequent light exposure revealed the presence of tissue-bound material that could not be extracted with acetonitrile. No detectable formaldehyde was emitted from the leaves. The detection of similar RDX degradation products in both aqueous and plant-based systems suggests that RDX may be initially transformed by similar mechanisms in both systems. Direct photolysis of RDX via ultraviolet irradiation passing into the leaves is hypothesized to be responsible for the observed transformations. In addition, membrane-bound "trap chlorophyll" in the chloroplasts may shuttle electrons to RDX as an indirect photolysis transformation mechanism. Results from this study indicate that reed canary grass facilitates photochemical degradation of RDX, and this mechanism should be considered along with more established phytoremediation processes when assessing the fate of contaminants in plant tissues. Plant-mediated phototransformation of xenobiotic compounds is a process that may be termed "phytophotolysis".[1]


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