Physiological and transcriptional responses of Baccharis halimifolia to the explosive "composition B" (RDX/TNT) in amended soil.
High explosives such as hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), and 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) are important contaminants in the environment and phytoremediation has been viewed as a cost-effective abatement. There remains, however, an insufficient knowledge-base about how plants respond to explosives, especially in the steady state. Microarray analysis was conducted on Arabidopsis thaliana that were grown in Murashige and Skoog media containing steady-state levels of 0.5 mM RDX or 2.0 μM TNT to study the effect of these compounds on its transcriptional profile. Our results for both RDX and TNT were consistent with the existing theory for xenobiotic metabolism in plants. Among the genes that were differentially expressed included oxidoreductases, cytochrome P450s, transferases, transporters, and several unknown expressed proteins. We discuss the potential role of upregulated genes in plant metabolism, phytoremediation, and phytosensing. Phytosensing, the detection of field contamination using plants, is an end goal of this project.