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Horizontal Gene Transfer: A Universal Phenomenon

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Abstract:

According to the scientific literature, it is reasonable to consider that lateral transfer of genes is an usual mechanism of adaptation of the biological organisms to environmental stresses. Furthermore, from bacteria to cultured human cells, including fungi and plants, a large diversity of horizontal gene transfers—natural or artificial, experimental or deduced from sequence analysis—have been described. Therefore, the uncharacterized biodiversity—particularly in microbiology—associated with the universality of the horizontal gene transfer phenomenon leads to the consideration that dissemination of DNA from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in biological environments, including food and soil, is uncontrolled and predictable.

Keywords: GMO; environment; gene; horizontal transfer; lateral transfer; stress

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10807030490513928

Affiliations: 1: Laboratoire de Microbiologie Alimentaire—EA 3213 (Food Microbiology Laboratory) Institut de Biologie Fondamentale et Appliquée Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Caen Cedex, France 2: Pôle Risques Maison de la Recherche en Sciences Humaines Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, Caen Cedex, France

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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