MON-88913-8 - Roundup Ready™ Flex™ cotton | BCH-LMO-SCBD-15168 | Living Modified Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House


Living Modified Organism (LMO)

Decisions on the LMO Risk Assessments  
published: 20 Jun 2006 last updated: 25 Sep 2020
Living Modified Organism identity
The image below identifies the LMO through its unique identifier, trade name and a link to this page of the BCH. Click on it to download a larger image on your computer. For help on how to use it go to the LMO quick-links page.
Roundup Ready™ Flex™ cotton
MON88913 (88913)
Roundup Ready® Flex cotton (MON 88913) was developed to allow the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup®, as a weed control option in cotton production. This genetically engineered cotton contains a novel form of the plant enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) that allows MON 88913 to survive otherwise lethal applications of glyphosate. The epsps gene introduced into MON 88913 was isolated from a strain of the common soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain CP4; the EPSPS enzyme expressed by this gene is tolerant to glyphosate. MON 88913 cotton contains two copies of the EPSPS gene to confer tolerance to glyphosate later in the growing season, specifically after the fifth true leaf stage.
The term “Recipient organism” refers to an organism (either already modified or non-modified) that was subjected to genetic modification, whereas “Parental organisms” refers to those that were involved in cross breeding or cell fusion.
Variety: ‘Coker 312’
Characteristics of the modification process
  • Agrobacterium-mediated DNA transfer
Some of these genetic elements may be present as fragments or truncated forms. Please see notes below, where applicable.
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-14979-7 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase gene | Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Agrobacterium)
    Protein coding sequence | Resistance to herbicides (Glyphosate)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-103903-1 Elongation factor EF-1alpha promoter | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
  • loading record details...
    BCH-GENE-SCBD-103904-1 Elongation factor EF-1alpha Leader | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-103905-1 Elongation factor EF-1alpha Intron 1 | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
  • loading record details...
    BCH-GENE-SCBD-100365-6 Chloroplast transit peptide 2 | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
    Transit signal
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-101877-5 rbcS-E9 gene terminator | Pisum sativum (Garden pea, PEA)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-103907-3 Actin 8 promoter | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-103908-4 Actin 8 Leader sequence | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
    Leader sequence
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-103909-3 Actin 8 Intron 1 | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-105196-2 FMV 35S Enhancer | Figwort mosaic virus (Figwort mottle virus, FMV, CMoVb)
  • loading record details...
    BCH-GENE-SCBD-105197-2 CaMV 35S Enhancer | Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV)
Information on the inserted DNA sequences
The transforming plasmid PV-GHGT35 carried a transfer DNA sequence comprising of two codon-optimised Agrobacterium tumefaciens 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (epsps) cassettes:

(1) the first epsps coding sequence under the regulation of a chimeric transcriptional promoter (Figwort mosaic virus 35S promoter enhancer and Arabidopsis thaliana elongation factor EF-1 alpha (tsf1) promoter), tsf1 leader and intron sequences, an A. thaliana chloroplast transit peptide 2 sequence and a Pisum sativum ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco) E9 transcript termination and polyadenylation sequence (T-E9).

(2) the second epsps coding sequence regulated by another chimeric transcriptional promoter (Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S enhancer and A. thaliana actin 8 (act8) promoter), act8 leader and intron sequences, A. thaliana chloroplast targeting peptide 2 and T-E9.

High levels of transcription are expected from both cassettes due to the presence of viral enhancer sequences. The EPSPS protein is expected to accumulate in the chloroplast due to the transit signal peptide.

Vector information
Monsanto constructed the double border, binary plasmid vector PV-GHGT35 for the transformation of cotton variety Coker 312. The plasmid contains a single copy of two epsps expression cassettes within the T-DNA region. The T-DNA region of PV-GHGT35 was incorporated into the target cotton genome using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Plasmid PV-GHGT35 also contains several genes from the plasmid backbone necessary for maintenance and selection of the plasmid that are not ultimately incorporated into the plant genome. Plasmid PV-GHGT35 contains both vegetative and bacterial origins of replication that allow replication of the plasmid in both A. tumefaciens and Escherichia coli. The plasmid contains the aad gene encoding the Tn7 adenyltransferase that provides resistance to spectinomycin and streptomycin. The plasmid also contains a sequence, known as rop, which represses the formation of RNA primer thereby allowing maintenance and copy number control of the plasmid in Escherichia coli.

Note on genetic element sizes:
The promoter for both genetic constructs are chimeric promoters containing viral enhancer sequences. Thus, the size of the promoters (Elongation factor 1 alpha and Actin 8) in the 'Genetic elements construct' reflects the size of chimeric promoters (FMV 35S enhancer + Elongation factor 1 alpha promoter; CaMV 35S enhancer + Actin 8 promoter).
LMO characteristics
  • Fiber/textile
Additional Information
The EPSPS enzyme is part of the shikimate pathway, an important biochemical pathway in plants involved in the production of aromatic amino acids and other aromatic compounds. When conventional plants are treated with glyphosate, the plants cannot produce the aromatic amino acids needed for growth and survival. EPSPS is present in all plants, bacteria, and fungi. It is not present in animals, since these organisms are unable to synthesize their own aromatic amino acids. Because the aromatic amino acid pathway is not present in mammals, birds, or aquatic life forms, glyphosate has little, if any, toxicity for these organisms. The EPSPS enzyme is naturally present in foods derived from plant and microbial sources.