Fate of Genetically Modified Yeast in the Environment


Project Number
MIC 05

Project title
Fate of genetically modified yeast in the environment

Project leader
Wolfaardt, G M

Institution
University of Stellenbosch. Department of Microbiology

Team members
Schoeman, H
Stidwell, T G

Project description
The goal of this project is to evaluate key environmental issues concerning the use of genetically modified yeasts. Specifically, the fate and effect of genetically modified yeasts in the environment are evaluated with the aim to contribute towards an unbiased and responsible future debate on the potential use of genetically modified yeast in highly competitive industries such as the wine industry. Such information is long overdue, as more than twenty years have passed since the first GMO was constructed, yet very little has been done (globally) in terms of risk assessment and environmental impact. Governing bodies and pressure groups increasingly demand such action. The data and information gathered through this study will enable the South African wine industry (which has already made a notable investment in the development of GMY) to position itself for the potential future use of GMY within the context of a very competitive global market. The proposed work will furthermore contribute in filling the void of information needed by regulatory bodies during law- and decision-making processes.

In essence, the research includes 1) experiments to facilitate reliable predictions of the fate of GMY when introduced into natural aqueous and soil environments, 2) evaluations of the effect of GMY on natural soil and plant microbial communities, and 3) establishment of a database of scientific and technical information for future debate and decision making on the potential use of GMY.

Presentation(s)
Wolfaardt, G M, Botha, A, De Jong, M and Van der Vet, D. 2000. Biofilms: a neglected mode of yeast growth. Paper presented at IOY2K Combined Millennium Meeting. 23-28 January 2000, Grahamstown, South Africa

Wolfaardt, G M and Botha, A. 2000. Biofilm formation: a general phenomenon among yeast. General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. May. United States.

Schoeman, H, Van Rensburg, P, Grossman, M K and Pretorius, I S. 2002. Fate of genetically modified yeast in the environment. Paper presented at the 12th Congress of the South African Society for Microbiology. 2-5 April 2002, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Schoeman, H, Van Rensburg, P, Grossman, M K and Pretorius, I S. 2005. Fate of genetically modified yeast in the environment. International Union of Microbiological Societies Conference. July, San Francisco, United States.

Schoeman, H, Van Rensburg, P, Grossman, M K and Pretorius, I S and Wolfaardt, G, M. 2005. Environmental fate and effect of genetically modified yeast. Paper presented at the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Conference. 12-15 June 2005, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.

FinalReport.pdf

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