DDE

Photograph of DDE under the microscope

One of the best known metabolites of DDT in insects is DDE. This is primarily due to work that demonstrated that the major cause of DDT-resistant houseflies is the ability to dechlorinate DDT to DDE. The enzyme responsible for this biochemical reaction is DDT-dehydrochlorinase, which has been isolated, purified, and many of its properties are being studied. The mexican bean beetle, which is normally very tolerant of DDT and related compounds, has a relatively high titer of DDT-dehydrochlorinase. DDE is relatively nontoxic compared to DDT and is of little value as a pesticide.

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