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Factors influencing transgene survival and transfer in the rumen
Project Code: G03031;
- Minas, K., Mcewan, N.R., Newbold, C.J. & Scott, K.P. (2011) Optimization of a high-throughput CTAB-based protocol for the extraction of qPCR-grade DNA from rumen fluid, plant and bacterial pure cultures. FEMS Microbiology Letters 325: 162-169
Rowett Research Institute
Scott, K ; Newbold, J
This proposal was designed to address possible risks associated with transgenic food/feed that arise from gene transfer to the gut microbiota in the gut of farm animals. In the European Union genetically modified plants are regulated by the GM Food and Feed Regulation 1829/2003.. The authorisation of GM plants includes a safety assessment, one aspect of which is the risk of gene transfer to other organisms, including bacteria.
The main findings from this work were that GM DNA sequences can be detected within residual GM plant material that has been exposed to rumen fluid in vitro, even after 24h. However these sequences were never detected in any of the rumen bacteria using rt-PCR. Rumen bacteria were only able to acquire GM DNA if there was a region of bacterial DNA associated with the transgene, to facilitate homologous recombination events. Even then, the uptake of DNA by rumen bacteria was an extremely rare event.
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