Appendix P: Physical and Biological Containment for Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecule Research Involving Plants

US National Institutes of Health

Appendix P specifies physical and biological containment conditions and practices suitable to the greenhouse conduct of experiments involving recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecule-containing plants, plant-associated microorganisms, and small animals.  All provisions of the NIH Guidelines apply to plant research activities with the following modifications:

Appendix P shall supersede Appendix G (Physical Containment) when the research plants are of a size, number, or have growth requirements that preclude the use of containment conditions described in Appendix G.  The plants covered in Appendix P include but are not limited to mosses, liverworts, macroscopic algae, and vascular plants including terrestrial crops, forest, and ornamental species.

Plant-associated microorganisms include viroids, virusoids, viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans, certain small algae, and microorganisms that have a benign or beneficial association with plants, such as certain Rhizobium species and microorganisms known to cause plant diseases.  The appendix applies to microorganisms which are being modified with the objective of fostering an association with plants.

Plant-associated small animals include those arthropods that:  (i) are in obligate association with plants, (ii) are plant pests, (iii) are plant pollinators, or (iv) transmit plant disease agents, as well as other small animals such as nematodes for which tests of biological properties necessitate the use of plants.  Microorganisms associated with such small animals (e.g., pathogens or symbionts) are included.

The Institutional Biosafety Committee shall include at least one individual with expertise in plant, plant pathogen, or plant pest containment principles when experiments utilizing Appendix P require prior approval by the Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Scroll to Top