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Getting Plants To Rid Themselves Of Pesticide Residues

Date:
September 30, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in China have discovered that a natural plant hormone, applied to crops, can help plants eliminate residues of certain pesticides.

Scientists have discovered that a naturally occurring plant hormone helps plants rid themselves of certain pesticide residues.
Credit: USDA Agricultural Research Service

Scientists in China have discovered that a natural plant hormone, applied to crops, can help plants eliminate residues of certain pesticides.

The study is in the current issue of American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

Jing Quan Yu and colleagues note that pesticides are essential for sustaining food production for the world's growing population. Farmers worldwide use about 2.5 million tons of pesticides each year. Scientists have been seeking new ways of minimizing pesticide residues that remain in food crops after harvest — with little success. Previous research suggested that plant hormones called brassinosteroids (BRs) might be an answer to the problem.

The scientists treated cucumber plants with one type of BR then treated the plants with various pesticides, including chloropyrifos (CPF), a broad-spectrum commercial insecticide. BR significantly reduced their toxicity and residues in the plants, they say. BRs may be "promising, environmentally friendly, natural substances suitable for wide application to reduce the risks of human and environmental exposure to pesticides," the scientists note. The substances do not appear to be harmful to people or other animals, they add.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xia et al. Brassinosteroids Promote Metabolism of Pesticides in Cucumber. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009; 57 (18): 8406 DOI: 10.1021/jf901915a

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Getting Plants To Rid Themselves Of Pesticide Residues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930112144.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, September 30). Getting Plants To Rid Themselves Of Pesticide Residues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930112144.htm
American Chemical Society. "Getting Plants To Rid Themselves Of Pesticide Residues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930112144.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

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