Ny artikkel: Levels of DNA methylation and transcript accumulation in leaves of transgenic maize varieties

25.11.2016

Delicous potatoes.

Et FK Norway samarbeidsprosjekt mellom GenØk og Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina i Brasil har resultert i en ny forskningsartikkel. Artikkelen er basert på arbeid Vinicius Vilperte startet under sitt utvekslingsopphold i Tromsø, og er utarbeidet sammen med Professor Rubens Onofre Nodari (UFSC), og GenØk-forskerne Sarah Agapito-Tenfen og Odd-Gunnar Wikmark

Background
Prior to their release in the environment, transgenic crops are examined for their health and environmental safety. In addition, transgene expression needs to be consistent in order to express the introduced trait (e.g. insecticidal and/or herbicide tolerance). Moreover, data on expression levels for GM events are usually required for approval, but these are rarely disclosed or they are considered insufficient. On the other hand, biosafety regulators do not consider epigenetic regulation (e.g. DNA methylation, ncRNAs and histone modifications), which are broadly known to affect gene expression, within their risk assessment analyses. Here we report the results of a DNA methylation (bisulfite sequencing) and transgene transcript accumulation (RT‑qPCR) analysis of four Bt‑expressing single transgenic maize hybrids, under different genetic backgrounds, and a stacked transgenic hybrid expressing both insecticidal and herbicide tolerance traits.

Results
The results showed differences in cytosine methylation levels in the FMV promoter and cry2Ab2 transgene of the four Bt‑expressing hybrid varieties. The comparison between single and stacked hybrids under the same genetic background showed differences in the 35S promoter sequence. The results of transgene transcript accumulation levels showed differences in both cry1A.105 and cry2Ab2 transgenes among the four Bt‑expressing hybrid varieties. The comparison between single and stacked hybrids showed difference for the cry2Ab2 transgene only.

Conclusions
The results show differences in DNA methylation patterns in all varieties, as well as in transgene transcript accumulation levels. Although the detection of changes in DNA methylation and transgenic accumulation levels does not present a safety issue per se, it demonstrates the need for additional studies that focus on detecting possible safety implications of such changes.

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Vilperte, V., Agapito-Tenfen, S.Z., Wikmark, O.-G. and Nodari, R.O. (2016). “Levels of DNA methylation and transcript accumulation in leaves of transgenic maize varieties“,  Environ Sci Eur 28:29. DOI 10.1186/s12302-016-0097-2

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