The Plant Pathology Journal 2006;22(4):353-359.
Published online December 31, 2006.
Study on Environmental Risk Assessment for Potential Effect of Genetically Modified Nicotiana benthamiana Expressing ZGMMV Coat Protein Gene
Tae Sung Kim, Min Su Yu, Kong Suk Koh, Kyoung Hee Oh, Hong Il Ahn, Ki Hyun Ryu
Transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana plants harboring the coat protein (CP) gene of Zucchini green mottle mosaic virus (ZGMMV) were chosen as a model host for the environmental risk assessment of genetically modified plants with virus resistance. This study was focused on whether new virus type may arise during serial inoculation of one point CP mutant of ZGMMV on the transgenic plants. In vitro transcripts derived from the non-functional CP mutant were inoculated onto the virus-tolerant and -susceptible transgenic N. benthamiana plants. Any notable viral symptoms that could arise on the inoculated transgenic host plants were not detected, even though the inoculation experiment was repeated a total of ten times. This result suggests that potential risk associated with the CP-expressing transgenic plants may not be significant. However, cautions must be taken as it does not guarantee environmental safety of these CP-mediated virus-resistant plants, considering the limited number of the transgenic plants tested in this study. Further study at a larger scale is needed to evaluate the environmental risk that might be associated with the CP-mediated virus resistant plant.
Key Words: Coat protein, environmental risk assessment, genetically modified, Living modified organism, Nicotiana benthamiana, Tobamovirus, transgenic plant
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