If you don't like golden rice to produce vitamin A, you may prefer transgenic yeast that settles in your intestines

By 26/04/2021 portal-3

Si no te gusta el arroz dorado para producir vitamina A, quizá prefieras levaduras transgénicas que se instalen en tus intestinos

Traditionally, the golden rice, because it is a genetically modified organism, has entailed fierce activist resistance from a certain ideological spectrum.

You will have to ask them what do you think about this: yeast pills designed with genetic engineering that settle in your intestine and They synthesize vitamin A from what you eat (something that could happen soon given the results obtained in mouse models).

Transgenic yeasts in mice

Most yeast species cannot survive in the intestine of mammals: Heat and acidity are beyond your tolerance limits. But Saccharomyces boulardii It not only grows easily in the intestine of mammals, but also inhibits pathogenic intestinal infections in the mammalian host.

Like golden rice, it is a transgenic variety that can fill vitamin A deficiencies, maybe one day this yeast can do it more effectively.

In a new step for synthetic biology, a group of researchers has opened new biosynthetic pathways in S. boulardii that allow the production of vitamin precursors (such as beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A) and drugs (such as violacein, a natural drug with anti-inflammatory properties) in the intestine of mice. They thus demonstrated CRISPR-mediated genome editing with high efficiency (95%) in this yeast strain..

The researchers reported that S. boulardii formed stable colonies in germ-free mice for more than 30 days, competing for space with other gut-resident microbes.

The researchers then tested the modified S. boulardii in the mouse model and found that the yeast cells successfully synthesized beta-carotene in the intestine of mice. By comparing the total mass of additional beta-carotene recovered in feces to the beta-carotene present in the initial dose of probiotics, the authors estimated that the germ-free mice produced 194 micrograms of beta-carotene in approximately 14 days.

This proof-of-concept study inspires further questions about the amount of beta-carotene absorbed by the mice, the biological relevance of the amounts produced, and, most importantly, If the process can be replicated in humans. Be that as it may, I'm sure Greenpeace is against it..

The news

If you don't like golden rice to produce vitamin A, you may prefer transgenic yeast that settles in your intestines

was originally published in

Xataka Science

Sergio Parra