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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
(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
(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
(c) The rate of transfer of rDNA from inoculant to other
members of the indigenous microflorae of silage, rumen and
(e) The taxanomic boundaries across which gene transfer
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
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Newcastle
Fields of Study
Biotechnology and GMOs