Office of Research

Recombinant DNA Experiments Involving Plants

Appendix P NIH Guidelines specifies physical and biological containment conditions and practices suitable to the greenhouse conduct of experiments involving recombinant DNA-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 supersedes Appendix G NIH Guidelines (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 that 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.


For both BL1-P and BL2-P, experimental organisms shall be rendered biologically inactive by appropriate methods before disposal outside of the greenhouse facility.