SYN-IR1Ø2-7 - VIPCOT™ Cotton | BCH-LMO-SCBD-14992 | Living Modified Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House

BCH-LMO-SCBD-14992-9   |   PDF   |   Print   |  

Living Modified Organism (LMO)

Decisions on the LMO Risk Assessments  
last updated: 20 Jan 2023
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.
VIPCOT™ Cotton
The cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) was modified for resistance to Lepidopteran pests through the expression of Bacillus thuringiensis vegetative insecticidal protein 3Aa, which causes gut paralysis and lysis of epithelium cells of feeding larvae. Since the VIP3A protein has a different insecticidal mode of action compared to delta-endotoxins (Cry proteins),  VIP3A used as an alternative to overcome resistance to Bt proteins. In addition, Escherichia coli hygromycin-B phosphotransferase is also expressed. It was included as a selectable marker during 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.
Cultivar: 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-14991-8 Hygromycin B phosphotransferase gene | Escherichia coli (ECOLX)
    Protein coding sequence | Resistance to antibiotics (Hygromycin),Selectable marker genes and reporter genes
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-14990-5 Vegetative insecticidal protein 3A | Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt, Bacillus, BACTU)
    Protein coding sequence | Resistance to diseases and pests (Insects, Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths))
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-104517-2 Actin 2 promoter | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-100269-8 Nopaline Synthase Gene Terminator | Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Agrobacterium)
  • BCH-GENE-SCBD-101874-2 Ubiquitin gene 3 promoter | Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress, Mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis, ARATH)
DNA insert from COT102 (SYN-IR1Ø2-7) vector pCOT-1
The DNA insert from COT102 contains two gene cassettes: Escherichia coli hygromycin B phosphotransferase (hpt) and Bacillus thuringiensis vegetative insecticidal protein 3A (vip3Aa).

Transcription of hpt is under control of the Arabidopsis thaliana ubiquitin 3 promoter and the Agrobacterium tumefaciens nopaline synthase (nos) terminator. The gene cassette is present in the counterclockwise orientation.

The expression of Bacillus thuringiensis vip3Aa is under transcriptional control of the A. thaliana actin 2 promoter and the nos terminator.

  • The coding sequence of the vip3Aa was optimized for expression in plant cells.
  • Transcription is expected to occur at elevated levels due to the constitutive nature of the promoters.
  • Southern blot analysis indicated the incorporation of a single copy of the transgene cassettes without the integration of the vector backbone sequences.
  • Western blot analysis confirmed the expression of the proteins.
LMO characteristics
  • Feed
  • Fiber/textile
  • Food
Detection method(s)
Southern blot analysis of the genomic DNA from COT102 revealed the incorporation of single intact copies of the vip3Aa and hpt genes, along with intact copies of their respective regulatory sequences. Results of these analyses also demonstrated that none of the vector backbone sequences, including the streptomycin adenyltransferase (aadA) gene, were incorporated into the genomic DNA.
Additional Information
The cotton line COT102 was engineered to resist attack from Lepidopteran insect pests such as the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa zea), tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens), pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella), fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperd), beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua), soybean looper (Pseudoplusia includens), cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni), and cotton leaf perforator (Bucculatrix thurberiella).

This insect resistance is conferred by the vip3Aa gene, originally isolated from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis strain AB88. The vip3Aa gene produces the insect control protein VIP3A in the plant tissues. VIP3A is a member of a class of recently discovered insecticidal proteins: VIP (vegetative insecticidal proteins) proteins are expressed by the bacterium during the vegetative stage, as well as during sporulation, the stage at which the delta-endotoxins (i.e., Cry proteins) are expressed. 

VIP proteins have an insecticidal mode of action similar to that of the delta-endotoxins: the ingestion by targeted insects leads to feeding cessation, loss of gut peristalsis, insect paralysis, and death. As with Cry proteins, VIP proteins also possess an active proteolytic core, which is activated by insect gut proteases, and binds to specific sites localized on the midgut lining of susceptible insect species. However, the VIP3A protein targets different molecules (i.e., receptors) in the mid-gut lining, and the binding results in the formation of ion channels distinct from those formed by delta endotoxins, such as Cry1Ab. 

VIP proteins are not expected to affect other invertebrate and vertebrate organisms, including beneficial arthropods, birds and mammals. Only lepidopteran insect species possess VIP binding sites on the surface of their gut epithelia, therefore, livestock animals and humans are not susceptible to these proteins. Also, since only lepidopteran insect species are targeted by the VIP proteins, species of other insect orders, including beneficial and pest species, are not expected to be affected by this insecticidal protein. 
Records referencing this document Show in search
Record type Field Record(s)
Living Modified Organism Recipient Organism” or “Parental Organisms 18
Risk Assessment generated by a regulatory process Living modified organism(s) 8
Country's Decision or any other Communication Living modified organism(s) 10
Laboratory for detection and identification of LMOs LMO(s) detectable by the laboratory 1
Risk Assessment generated by an independent or non-regulatory process Living modified organism(s) 1