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Risk assessment of genetically engineered Lactobacillus plantarum - RG0102

To investigate the impact of genetically modifed strains of L. plantarum on the soil environment following their inoculation into silage. Silage inoculants represent an important area in which genetic engineering can bring about marked improvements in efficiency but continuing public and government concern over the consequences of genetic release make it necessary to fully assess the risks involved in recombinant DNA technology proir to its use by the farming industry. Studies will be carried out using three genetically modified strains of Lactobacillus: (i) L. plantarum harbouring the unstable plasmid pM25 which encodes an active cellulase (Bates et al. 1989). Strain designated LP1. (ii) L. plantarum containing pM25 which has been intergrated into the chromosome through homologous intergration. Strain designated LP2. (iii) L.plantarum in which the cellulase gene and an antibiotic resistance marker has been intergrated into the host genome through a double recombination event. This organism has none of the replication sequences of plasmid pM25. Strain designated LP3. These three recombinant strains (i-iii) will be used to study: (a) The persistance of the genetically modified strains in silage, rumen and soil compared to the type strain. (b) The persistance of the recombinant DNA in silage, rumen and soil. This is important with respect to transformation events. (c) The rate of transfer of rDNA from inoculant to other members of the indigenous microflorae of silage, rumen and soil. (e) The taxanomic boundaries across which gene transfer occurs. Studies should provide the necessary information from which the risks associated with the use of genetically modified lactobacilli in the ensilage process can be assessed.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1991

To: 1993

Cost: £93,390
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Newcastle
Fields of Study
Biotechnology and GMOs