Wheat Sample

Wheat Sample

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Description (Brief)
This sample of wheat came from the first field test designed to chart the movement of genetically modified microorganisms after their release into the environment. In November of 1987, genetically modified soil bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas were planted along with winter wheat in a field in Blackville, S.C. The project was a joint effort of Monsanto, which had modified the organisms in the lab, and Clemson University, which carried out the field test.
The microorganisms were modified to contain harmless “marker genes” allowing scientists to distinguish them from naturally occurring Pseudomonas bacteria. After their release, scientists kept track of the movement of the modified bacteria in order to create a model for how genetically modified microbes migrate upon their release. Several months earlier, the release of genetically modified “ice-minus” bacteria (see object number 1987.0770.01) in California was the center of public concern.
Accession File
“After Release, Altered Bacteria Stayed Close to Their Roots.” Renseberger, Boyce. The Washington Post. February 22, 1988. p. A3.
“Release of Altered Microbes Is Approved in Tracking Test.” Schneider, Keith. The New York Times. October 21, 1987. p. A19.
“Clemson Scientists Begin Field Testing of Microbe.” The Item. November 3, 1987. p.4B.
Currently not on view
Object Name
wheat sample
date made
ca 1987
made at
United States: South Carolina, Clemson
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 12.7 cm x 6.4 cm x 6.2 cm; 5 in x 2 1/2 in x 2 7/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Dr. Ellis L. Kline
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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