MON-ØØ531-6 - Bollgard™ cotton | BCH-LMO-SCBD-14775 | Living Modified Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House


Living Modified Organism (LMO)

Decisions on the LMO Risk Assessments  
last updated: 17 Jul 2017
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.
Bollgard™ cotton
Cotton line MON531 was genetically engineered to resist cotton bollworm, tobacco budworm and pink bollworm by producing its own insecticide. This line was developed by introducing the cry1Ac gene, isolated from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), into a cotton line by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.
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.
  • MON-89924-2 - Bollgard™ cotton
    | Monsanto | Resistance to antibiotics (Kanamycin), Resistance to diseases and pests (Insects, Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths))
  • MON-ØØ757-7 - Bollgard™ cotton
    | Monsanto | Resistance to antibiotics (Kanamycin), Resistance to diseases and pests (Insects, Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths))
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-15001-5 Neomycin Phosphotransferase II | Escherichia coli (ECOLX)
    Protein coding sequence | Resistance to antibiotics (Kanamycin)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-14986-6 Cry1Ac | Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt, Bacillus, BACTU)
    Protein coding sequence | Resistance to diseases and pests (Insects, Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths))
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-100366-6 CaMV Enhanced 35S promoter | Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-103856-6 α' subunit of β-conglycinin gene terminator | Glycine max (Soybean, Soya bean, Soya, SOYBN)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-100269-8 Nopaline Synthase Gene Terminator | Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Agrobacterium)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-100287-7 CaMV 35S promoter | Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-15033-8 3"(9)-O-aminoglycoside adenyltransferase | Escherichia coli (ECOLX)
    Protein coding sequence | Resistance to antibiotics (Streptomycin)
The Cry1Ac coding sequence was modified for plant optimised codons and resulted in a single amino acid change at L766S.

Southern blot analysis indicated that the LMO contains a single active copy and a partial inactive copy of the Cry1Ac gene both of which are linked.

The plasmid also contains the antibiotic resistance aad gene. This gene confers resistance to the antibiotics spectinomycin and streptomycin, and facilitated the selection of bacteria containing the plasmid in the initial steps of transforming the cotton tissue. The aad gene is under the control of a bacterial promoter. Studies using ELISA testing have indicated that there there is no detectable expression of the aad gene in the modified line.
LMO characteristics
  • Other (Industrial use)
Additional Information
The cry1Ac gene produces the insect control protein Cry1Ac, a delta-endotoxin. The Cry1Ac protein produced in MON531 is almost identical to that found in nature and in commercial Bt spray formulations.

Cry proteins, of which Cry1Ac is only one, act by selectively binding to specific sites localized on the lining of the midgut of susceptible insect species. Following binding, pores are formed that disrupt midgut ion flow, causing gut paralysis and eventual death due to bacterial sepsis.

Cry1Ac is insecticidal only when eaten by the larvae of lepidopteran insects (moths and butterflies), and its specificity of action is directly attributable to the presence of specific binding sites in the target insects. There are no binding sites for delta-endotoxins of B. thuringiensis on the surface of mammalian intestinal cells, therefore, livestock animals and humans are not susceptible to these proteins.