Standard Article

Genetically Modified Microorganisms (GMM) in Soil Environments

  1. Leo Van Overbeek,
  2. Dick Van Elsas

Published Online: 15 APR 2003

DOI: 10.1002/047126363X.agr346

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals

How to Cite

Van Overbeek, L. and Van Elsas, D. 2003. Genetically Modified Microorganisms (GMM) in Soil Environments. Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals. .

Author Information

  1. Plant Research International B.V., Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2003


The early 1970s witnessed a major breakthrough in molecular biology with the discovery of restriction enzymes. From that moment on, it has been possible to modify the genetic constitution of all organisms, and a new era in human history started. In the early years of genetic modification, the perspectives of these approaches were tremendous. However, these expectations have been tempered ever since and have even led to an upheaval because of two reasons. In this article, we focus on the requirements for the application of genetically modified microorganism strains in natural, unconstrained environments such as agricultural fields, and discuss approaches for tracking released GMM strains as well as limiting their spread by the construction of so-called self-containing mechanisms.


  • molecular biology;
  • genetically modified microorganisms;
  • soil;
  • restriction enzymes;
  • genetic modification;
  • GMM strains;
  • self-containing mechanisms