Trichloroethylene oxidative metabolism in plants: the trichloroethanol pathway.


Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a widespread and persistent environmental contaminant. Recently, plants, poplar trees in particular, have been investigated as a tool to remove TCE from soil and groundwater. The metabolism of TCE in plants is being investigated for two reasons: one, plant uptake and metabolism represent an important aspect of the environmental fate of the contaminant; two, metabolism pattern and metabolite identification will help assess the applicability of phytoremediation. It was previously shown that TCE metabolites in plants are similar to ones that result from cytochrome P450-mediated oxidation in mammals: trichloroethanol, trichloroacetate and dichloroacetate. Our measurements indicate that one of these metabolites, trichloroethanol, is further glycosylated in tobacco and poplar. The glycoside was detected in all tissues (roots, stems and leaves) in comparable levels, and was at least 10 fold more abundant than free trichloroethanol. The glycoside in tobacco was identified as the ss-D-glucoside of trichloroethanol by comparison of the mass spectra and the chromatographic retention time of its acetylation product to that of the synthesized standard. Trichloroethanol and its glucoside did not persist in plant tissue once plants are removed from TCE contaminated water, indicating further metabolism.


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@article{Shang2001TrichloroethyleneOM, title={Trichloroethylene oxidative metabolism in plants: the trichloroethanol pathway.}, author={Tanya Qing Shang and Sharon L Doty and Adam M. Wilson and William N . Howald and Matthew P Gordon}, journal={Phytochemistry}, year={2001}, volume={58 7}, pages={1055-65} }