One of the major concerns limiting the potential usage of genetically modified crops and organisms in agriculture is the potential risk for lateral gene transfer in the environment. While numerous studies have considered lateral gene transfer into gut bacteria, the transfer into unicellular eukaroytes has been ignored until now. Here we propose that the unique genome organisation of ciliated protozoa, i.e. the presence of an asexual macronucleus with gene-sized mini-chromosomes, makes them ideal bio-monitors for gene transfer events in the gut of farm animals and insects. The telomeric sequences of gut ciliates plus signature sequences in GMO-derived DNA should allow primers to be developed for bulk DNA analysis by PCR and high throughput screening using fluorescence in situ hybridisation and flow cytometry. These transfer events will be compared to historical gene transfer event evaluated by bioinformatical techniques.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
040 01 Kosice
05 110 Jablonna