Genetic engineering strategies for enhancing phytoremediation of heavy metals
M.H. Fulekar*, Anamika Singh and Anwesha M. Bhaduri
Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Life Sciences, University of Mumbai, Kalina, Santacruz (E), Mumbai – 400 098, India.
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Accepted 19 December 2008
The industrial revolution has increased the use of metals for various processes and operations. The waste containing heavy metals are transported to the environment; air, water and soil through the various sources which has increased the burden in the environment. Phytoremediation has been found a promising, cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing, in situ treatment technology for the remediation of heavy metal contaminants from the soil-water environment. A genetic engineering based phytoremediation strategy is being aimed to improve the performance of plants in effective removal of metals from environment. This review gives an overview of current status of genetic engineering applications being implemented to improve the process of phytoremediation design for restoration of human health and healthiness of the earth.
Key words: Phytoremediation, genetic engineering, heavy metals, transgenic plants, phytochelatins, metallothioneins.