Feasibility of Landmine Detection Using Transgenic Plants


  1. Deyholos, M.
  2. Faust, A.A.
  3. Minmin, M.
  4. Montoya, R.
  5. Donahue, A.D.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN);Alberta Univ, Edmonton ALTA (CAN) Dept of Microbiology
Genetically modified plants that detect TNT and its degradation products are potentially powerful aids in humanitarian demining and detection of unexploded ordnance. Although the feasibility of TNT detection by plants and microorganisms has been demonstrated by several research teams world wide, thus far, none of these previously demonstrated systems has the sensitivity and specificity to be effective under field conditions. We are using two approaches to increase the potential effectiveness of these and related biological detection systems. First, we are expanding the repertoire of explosive-responsive promoters by conducting DNA microarray experiments with plants treated with TNT-degradation products, and characterizing the inducibility of reporter gene expression by these promoters. Second, we are evaluating the dynamics and limiting factors in the transmission of artificial signals from roots to shoots. This will increase the ability of soil based TNT perception strategies to effect human-readable changes in shoot morphology as part of a practical plant-based explosives detection system.
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-SL-2006-082 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Aug 2005
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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