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Fate of transgenic plant DNA in the environment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 October 2007

Alessandra Pontiroli
Environmental Microbial Genomics Group, Laboratoire Ampère, École centrale de Lyon, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex, France
Pascal Simonet
Environmental Microbial Genomics Group, Laboratoire Ampère, École centrale de Lyon, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex, France
Asa Frostegard
Dept. of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, 1432 Aas, Norway
Timothy M. Vogel
Environmental Microbial Genomics Group, Laboratoire Ampère, École centrale de Lyon, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex, France
Jean-Michel Monier
Environmental Microbial Genomics Group, Laboratoire Ampère, École centrale de Lyon, 36 avenue Guy de Collongue, 69134 Ecully Cedex, France


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This review addresses the possible ecological effects of transgenic plants on micro-organisms in the field, hence, in the phytosphere and in the soil matrix. The important steps involved in the interaction between plant DNA and bacteria and the factors that influence the horizontal gene transfer (HGT) process will be discussed. HGT is a process in which two partners are involved, even if indirectly. In the first section, aspects concerning bacteria, such as their physico-chemical, biological and genetic characteristics, are described. Parameters affecting transgenic DNA fate in the environment are described in the second section. Subsequently, terrestrial habitats are evaluated in terms of their capacity to favor horizontal gene transfer. Finally, we focused on several studies in order to evaluate possible perturbations of soil bacterial community composition due to cultivation of transgenic plants in the field.

Research Article
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2007


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