Fate of Trifluoromethylated Organics in Aquatic Plant Systems

EPA Grant Number: F5A20170
Title: Fate of Trifluoromethylated Organics in Aquatic Plant Systems
Investigators: Reinhold, Dawn
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: August 5, 2005 through August 8, 2005
Project Amount: $111,172
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships


Aquatic plants, particularly Lemna minor, rapidly uptake and transform surface water contaminants and consequently are crucial in natural attenuation and engineered treatment of contaminants. This research elucidates the fate of trifluoromethylated organics in aquatic plant systems, using both in vivo and in vitro methods. Trifluoromethylated organics are emerging, anthropogenic chemicals that are widely used for pharmaceuticals and pesticides and that contaminate surface waters across the U.S.

This research aims at identifying crucial plant processes involved in transformation, sequestration, and bioavailability of trifluoromethylated organics in surface waters through studies incorporating in vivo and in vitro cultures.


Transformation and sequestration of trifluoromethylated organics will be characterized and quantified in both L. minor cell-culture and whole-plant studies. Rate of uptake of trifluoromethylated organics by L. minor will be measured by depletion of aqueous concentrations (HPLC-UV/Vis-MSD). Cell-culture (in vitro) and whole-plant (in vivo) studies will be compared to develop uptake models and determine applicability of cell-culture studies to uptake of contaminants by plant systems. Bioavailability of sequestered products will be determined in microcosms with mixed microbial cultures.

Expected Results:

This research will further develop understanding of the role of aquatic vegetation in the overall fate of contaminants and has implications for aquatic food chains, natural attenuation, and engineered phytotechnologies to remediate surface waters. Technically, this work will evaluate the applicability of plant cell suspensions to environmental fate studies.

Supplemental Keywords:

Lemna minor, duckweed, fluorinated organics, plant cell culture, phytoremediation,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Environmental Chemistry, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, fate and transport, marine food web, aquatic ecosystem, trifluoromethylated organics, aquatic plants, natural attentuation, biochemistry, phytoremediation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final