Plant protection is an important part of modern agriculture, in which high-yielding crop varieties are at risk of diseases and insect pest attacks. Dialkoxybenzenes are promising new insect control agents. Some of these compounds mimic naturally occurring odorants that modulate insect behavior. Before applying these compounds, however, their persistence and biodegradability at the application site and in the environment must be understood. In this study, the octanol-water partition coefficient, volatility and sorption on soil components (sand, clay and organic matter) of selected dialkoxybenzenes were investigated. In general, these compounds showed acceptable physical-chemical properties. Biodegradation experiments of 1-allyloxy-4-propoxybenzene with three strains of Pseudomonas putida. Two of the three strains of P. putida tested were able to metabolize 1-allyloxy-4-propoxybenzene. The first step in metabolizing by strain ATCC 17453 was dealkylation. In vitro tests with CYP101A1 (cytochrome P450cam, a camphor hydroxylase), revealed that the dealkylation is catalyzed by this enzyme.
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Thesis advisor: Plettner, Erika
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