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Dissemination of GM DNA and Antibiotic Resistance Genes Via Rumen Microorganisms

Institutions
Rowett Research Institute
Start date
1998
End date
2001
Objective
This research project investigates the potential for transfer of transgenes, e.g. antibiotic resistance marker genes from GM crops to bacteria in the intestinal tract of ruminatory animals.

The first is an investigation of DNA survival in rumen contents in vitro and the possibility for natural bacterial transformation under rumen conditions.

Secondly, it is proposed to determine the potential for spread of resistance genes by studying the distribution of certain antibiotic resistance determinants among different groups of ruminal bacteria.

In particular the project will examine the types of ampicillin resistance genes already present in the rumen bacteria, and also the distribution of a new class of tetR gene, identified at the Rowett Research Institute, found so far only in rumen anaerobic bacteria.

Sequence homologies between these tetR genes indicate that rapid, intergeneric gene transfer occurs in the rumen.

More information
This project is investigating the potential for onward transfer of transgenes, e.g. antibiotic resistance marker genes from GM crops to endogenous rumen microflora. There are two main elements to the project.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
G01011
Categories
Antimicrobial Resistance
Microbiological Standards and Guidelines
Bacterial Pathogens