Biotech Updates

GM Lettuce and Mizuna Show Antibacterial Activity Against E. Coli

October 11, 2023

Researchers from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and Nomad Bioscience GmbH in Germany produced genetically modified (GM) lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and mizuna (Brassica rapa subsp. nipposinica var. laciniata) that stably express Colicin M (ColM), a non-antibiotic antimicrobial protein found in some strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli).

E. coli has long been a common cause of food-borne illnesses, resulting in various diseases and, in some cases, death. Leafy green vegetables, such as lettuce and mizuna, are common sources of E. coli infections when contaminated. Hence, the researchers developed transgenic plants through an Agrobacterium-mediated transformation with a vector containing the ColM gene.

Results of the study showed that the antibacterial activity of the transgenic plants persists across generations of GM lettuce and mizuna plants carrying the ColM gene. This research accelerates the development of GM plants that have antibacterial properties to fight bacterial infections from food.

For more information, read the abstract from Frontiers in Plant Science.

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