Predicting survival of a genetically engineered microorganism, Pseudomonas chlororaphis 3732RN-L11, in soil and wheat rhizosphere across Canada with linear multiple regression models
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Pseudomonas chlororaphis 3732RN-L11 survival rates in soil and wheat rhizosphere were measured using intact soil core microcosms representing 23 sites across Canada. Linear multiple regression (LMR) models were developed to predict the survival rate of this genetically engineered microorganism (GEM) as a function of soil parameters measured at the time of microcosm inoculation. LMR models were tested by comparing their predicted survival rates with observed survival rates from environmental introductions of the GEM by Gagliardi et al. (2001) at five field sites across Canada over two years. No soil parameter (e.g., % clay) was highly correlated with GEM survival rates in soil or wheat rhizosphere. Total fungal colony-forming units (CFUs), % soil titanium (positive correlations), and % soil magnesium (negative correlation) were found to be the best LMR predictors of GEM survival rates in soil over two years. Total soil bacterial CFUs, nitrate, % soil potassium (positive correlations), and exchangeable magnesium (negative correlation) were found to be the best LMR predictors of GEM survival rate in wheat rhizosphere over two years. While LMR models were statistically significant, they were unable to reliably predict the survival rate of the GEM in field trial introductions. The results indicate that there can be considerable uncertainty associated with predicting GEM survival for multi-site environmental introductions.
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