Scientists from DuPont Pioneer, USA, investigated the safety of bacterium
Pseudomonas chlororaphis as gene source for genetically modified crops. The
results are published in an open-access article in Transgenic Research
GM crops go through rigorous science-based assessment process to
characterize their food, feed, and environmental safety before
commercialization. The process of safety assessment entails various steps
such as evaluation of each introduced trait, including its source organism,
for any possible unwanted effects. Scientists have shown that Pseudomonas
species have been safely applied in agriculture and some have been a good
source of genes with insecticidal characteristics. In particular, P.
chlororaphis has an ipd072Aa gene, which expresses a protein that confers
protection against specific coleopteran pests when transformed in maize.
According to the paper, P. chlororaphis is widely present in the environment
and has no known toxic or allergenic properties based on previous
assessments. It is distantly related to plant and human pathogens, but has a
long history of safe use. Thus, it can be a good candidate as source of
genes for developing insect resistant crops.