Stress-induced evolution and the biosafety of genetically modified microorganisms released into the environment
Biohazard; biosafety; evolution; genetically modified microorganisms; gene transfer; mutability; stress; tolerance; viability
This article is focused on the problems of reduction of the risk associated with the deliberate release of genetically modified microorganisms (GMMs) into the environment. Special attention is given to overview the most probable physiological and genetic processes which could be induced in the released GMMs by adverse environmental conditions, namely: (i) activation of quorum sensing and the functions associated with it, (ii) entering into a state of general resistance, (iii) activation of adaptive mutagenesis, adaptive amplifications and transpositions and (iv) stimulation of inter-species gene transfer. To reduce the risks associated with GMMs, the inactivation of their key genes responsible for stress-stimulated increase of viability and evolvability is proposed.