Biocontainment: Genetic tweak could prevent accidental release of GMO bacteria from labs

When dealing with bacteria in a lab setting, it is often a requirement to ensure that the risk of the bacteria escaping from containment is as minimized as possible…In most situations when dealing with genetically modified bacteria, this isn’t the case…[If a modified] E. coli somehow got into the wild, it would not be able to survive and compete against its wild-type relatives….

[However,] scientists have worked in the past and present to come up with biocontainment methods that eliminate risk of escape.

The first is to engineer a so-called “suicide switch” into the bacteria’s genes…[and the] second trick is to enact a nutritional dependence within the bacteria.

Researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan [found a cheaper alternative when they looked at] Pseudomonas stutzeri, which are able to process phosphite and hypophosphite into usable forms.

[In the study,] the scientists knocked out all the other bacterial genes allowing it to transport phosphate and transgenically added in the phosphite transporter…[As a result] this modified E. coli line [has] the best and lowest frequency of escape mutant generation yet.

[Read the full study here]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: How To Control GMOs: Biocontainment and Genetically Modified Bacteria

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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