GM Plants Could Help Eliminate Food PoisoningSeptember 16, 2015
A study led by a team of researchers from German companies Nomad Bioscience and Icon Genetics reveals a new strategy to fight foodborne diseases. The new strategy involved genetically engineering plants to produce antimicrobial proteins, which can then be extracted and applied to contaminated meat and produce.
The team engineered tobacco, beets, spinach, chicory, and lettuce, to produce proteins called colicins, which can kill deadly strains of E. coli. They found that plants such as tobacco can yield high levels of active colicins, and identified a mixture of two colicins that can efficiently kill all major disease-causing strains of E. coli.
Colicins are extremely potent, and the scientists believe the proteins could be an economically viable way to treat food. Yuri Gleba, CEO of Nomad Bioscience said, "Colicins are 50 times more active against bacteria than normal antibiotics." In the study, Gleba and his colleagues sprayed E. coli-laced pork steaks with a mixture of two types of colicins, at 4 milligrams of colicin per kilogram of meat, and found significant reductions in E. coli after just an hour.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a non-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Farmers in Kenya Support Government Plan to Lift Ban on Biotech Crops
- Research Shows Caterpillars Trick Corn Plants to Lower their Defenses
- Genetic Engineering Transforms Common Plant to Produce Cancer Drug
- Scientists Asks for Deregulation of Bt eggplant to Unchoke Regulatory Pipeline in India
- U.S.-Pakistan Wheat Breeders' Cooperation Develops Unique Pool of Wheat Genetics to Fight Wheat Diseases
- Chinese Scientists Complete Genome Sequence of Bacillus thuringiensis Strain HD521
- New Method to Predict Plant Size at Maturity Based on Genetic Markers
- EU Regulators and Food Suppliers Can Now Access Online GM Crop Database
- GM Plants Could Help Eliminate Food Poisoning
- Expression of β-glucosidase Increases Trichome Density and Artemisinin Content in Sweet Wormwood
Beyond Crop Biotech
- Scientists Reveal Novel Genes Affecting Sex Determination in Yellow Catfish
From the BICs
- Ugandan Scientists and Journalists Strive to Find a Middle Ground
- Filipino Experts and Agri Stakeholders Discuss Gender and GM Crops
- Biotech Crop Annual Updates
- New Infographic Shows Process of Getting GM Crops to Market
Subscribe to CBU: