The discovery, by scientists in the York Structural Biology Laboratory and the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, will support the development of plants that can help tackle pollution caused by royal demolition explosive, also known as RDX.
Researchers at York have identified bacteria that use RDX as a food source and used that knowledge to develop transgenic plants that can draw pollutants out of the soil and break them down.
The latest findings, published in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, focus on the XplA enzyme which plays an important role in that process.
Dr Gideon Grogan, from the York Structural Biology Laboratory, said: “The biological process for tackling the pollution caused by RDX already exists but we need to find ways of making it work faster and on the scale required.
“This research significantly improves our understanding of the structure of this enzyme and is therefore an important step towards exploiting its unusual properties.”
Professor Neil Bruce, from the Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, said: “RDX is toxic and a possible carcinogen so it is important to identify ways of stopping it polluting land and water supplies.
“We have already had significant success in engineering plants that can perform this task and this research will help further refine that technique.”
The research is funded by the Centre of Excellence for Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture (CoEBio3), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) of the US Department of Defense.
James Reed | EurekAlert!
Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)
CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy