Biotech Updates

Scientists Conclude Safety of Pseudomonas as Source of Genes for GM Crops

February 14, 2018

Scientists from DuPont Pioneer, USA, investigated the safety of bacterium Pseudomonas chlororaphis as gene source for genetically modified crops. The results are published in an open-access article in Transgenic Research journal.

GM crops go through rigorous science-based assessment process to characterize their food, feed, and environmental safety before commercialization. The process of safety assessment entails various steps such as evaluation of each introduced trait, including its source organism, for any possible unwanted effects. Scientists have shown that Pseudomonas species have been safely applied in agriculture and some have been a good source of genes with insecticidal characteristics. In particular, P. chlororaphis has an ipd072Aa gene, which expresses a protein that confers protection against specific coleopteran pests when transformed in maize.

According to the paper, P. chlororaphis is widely present in the environment and has no known toxic or allergenic properties based on previous assessments. It is distantly related to plant and human pathogens, but has a long history of safe use. Thus, it can be a good candidate as source of genes for developing insect resistant crops.

Read the research article in Transgenic Research.