Decontamination of Vegetables Sprayed With Organophosphate Pesticides by Organophosphorus Hydrolase and Carboxylesterase (B1)

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A genetically engineered Escherichia coli cell expressing both organophos-phorus hydrolase (OPH) and carboxyl esterase (CaE) B1 intracellularly was constructed and cultivated. The harvested wet cells were vacuum dried, and the storage stability of the dried cell powder was determined in terms of OPH activity. Over a period of 5 mo, the dried cells showed no significant decrease in the activities of the detoxifying enzymes. The crude enzymes in 50 mM citrate-phosphate buffer (pH 8.0) were able to degrade approx 97% of the organophosphate pesticides sprayed on cabbage. The detoxification efficiency was superior to that of the treatments of water, detergent, and a commercially available enzyme product. Additionally, the products of pesticide hydrolysis generated by treatment with the enzyme extract were determined to be virtually nontoxic.

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