Transformation-induced mutations in biotechnologically produced trees
Genetically transferred DNA as well as genome editing methiods (CRISPR/Cas) are putative causal agents for genomic instabilities.
For regulation of the transferred foreign genes the 35S promoter of the cauliflower mosaic virus is used very frequently.
In the research project, potential biosafety related risks will be evaluated resulting from the interactions between the already mentioned 35S-promoter (as well as other sequences from viruses) on one hand, and poplar viruses and retro elements on the other hand. These interactions could either activate so far “sleeping” retro elements or let evolve novel retro elements following recombination.
In addition, the complete genome of plants modified by CRISPR/Cas9 will be sequenced and investigated for possible off-target mutations.
In initiating experiments already existing transgenic poplar lines were investigated in respect to genomic stability using the AFLP technique.
Meanwhile, next-generation sequencing methods are being used.
The results indicate that as expected a high genetic stability is existing between different transgenic lines and their respective non-transgenic controls. However, single cases have been observed where reproducible differences were detected in the AFLP pattern which indicate a transformation-induced genomic mutation. Further investigations are planned to unravel the basis for the observed variations.
Permanent task 1.2005 - 5.2024
Project status: ongoing