Environ. Biosafety Res.
Volume 9, Number 1, January-March 2010
|Page(s)||25 - 40|
|Published online||11 November 2010|
Bacterial and fungal communities in the rhizosphere of field-grown genetically modified pine trees (Pinus radiata D.)
1 AgResearch Limited, Biocontrol and Biosecurity Section,
Private Bag 4749, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
2 VSN (NZ) Limited, 40 McMahon Drive, Christchurch, New Zealand
3 Scion – Next Generation Biomaterials, Te Papa Tipu Innovation Park, Private Bag 3020, Rotorua, New Zealand
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 20 August 2010
This study assessed the impact of Pinus radiata (D. Don) genetically modified (GM) by biolistic insertion of the LEAFY and nptII genes on rhizosphere microbial communities of field grown trees. Rhizosphere soil was sampled quarterly for two consecutive years. A culture-independent approach was used to characterise the microbial communities based on PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of 16S/18S rDNA gene fragments, and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) fragments amplified from total rhizosphere DNA. Trees from two independent transformation events were sampled, together with non-modified control trees of the same parental genotype. DGGE profiles of rhizosphere general Bacteria did not differ between GM and control trees with one exception (summer 2006 sample). For Alphaproteo- and Actinobacteria, significant differences between treatments were detected in one out of eight samplings. Small seasonal shifts could be detected in all bacterial communities. General fungal and ectomycorrhizal communities did not differ significantly between GM and control trees with the exception of summer 2006, when ectomycorrhizal communities associated with GM trees from one transformation event differed from those associated with control trees. Small seasonal shifts of general fungal and ectomycorrhizal communities were seen over the two-year sampling period. More detailed analysis of microbial communities at one sampling date (using amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) and 16S/18S rDNA sequencing) revealed significant differences in four ARDRA groups between one GM treatment and the control (bacteria), and significant differences in one ARDRA group between the two GM treatments (fungi). When data from all sampling dates are considered together, the low incidence of statistical differences in the microbial communities associated with the genetically modified and control trees suggests that there was no significant impact of this genetic modification on rhizosphere microbial communities.
Key words: Bacterial and fungal communities / ectomycorrhizal fungi / DGGE / ARDRA / diversity / genetic engineering (GE) / transgenic trees / biosafety
© ISBR, EDP Sciences, 2010
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