BACKGROUND: Living modified microorganisms (LMMs) have been focused in two very different aspects of positive and negative effects on ecology and human health. As a model experiment, wild type and a foreign origin gene-harboring modified E. coli strains were subjected to comparison of their metabolomes and potential effects on soil microbiota in the laboratory sets. This study assumes the unintentional release of LMMs and tries to suggest potential effects on the soil microbiota even at minimal settings.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Metabolomes from the wild type and LM E. coli were analyzed by NMR and the profiles were compared. In the laboratory soil experiments, the two types of E. coli were added to the soils and monitored for the bacterial community compositions. Those metabolomic profiles did not show significant differences. The microbial community structures from the time series soil DNAs for both the sets using wild type and LMO also did not indicate significant changes, but minor by the addition of foreign organisms regardless of wild or LMO.
CONCLUSION: Even if the recombinant microorganism (LMO) is released into the soil environment, the survival of microorganisms in the environment would be one of the major factors for the transfers of foreign genes to other organisms and diffusion into the soil environment.