The enzymatic basis for pesticide bioremediation

Colin Scott*, Gunjan Pandey, Carol J. Hartley, Colin J. Jackson, Matthew J. Cheesman, Matthew C. Taylor, Rinku Pandey, Jeevan L. Khurana, Mark Teese, Chris W. Coppin, Kahli M. Weir, Rakesh K. Jain, Rup Lal, Robyn J. Russell, John G. Oakeshott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


Enzymes are central to the biology of many pesticides, influencing their modes of action, environmental fates and mechanisms of target species resistance. Since the introduction of synthetic xenobiotic pesticides, enzymes responsible for pesticide turnover have evolved rapidly, in both the target organisms and incidentally exposed biota. Such enzymes are a source of significant biotechnological potential and form the basis of several bioremediation strategies intended to reduce the environmental impacts of pesticide residues. This review describes examples of enzymes possessing the major activities employed in the bioremediation of pesticide residues, and some of the strategies by which they are employed. In addition, several examples of specific achievements in enzyme engineering are considered, highlighting the growing trend in tailoring enzymatic activity to a specific biotechnologically relevant function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalIndian Journal of Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • bacterial enzymes
  • bioremediation
  • pesticides
  • xenobiotics


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