Gene Expression Patterns of Dairy Cows Fed with GM Maize and Non-GM Maize
A number of studies have been conducted to test the possible effects of feeding genetically modified (GM) maize MON810 to livestock. Most of these studies dealt with animal performance, animal health, and fate of the recombinant DNA or protein. However, there are no reports about the effect of MON810 on dairy cows' gene expression.
In a study conducted in 2005-2007, 18 dairy cows were fed with GM maize feeds, while another set of 18 dairy cows consumed feeds with the non-GM counterpart of MON810 to investigate the fate of recombinant DNA and protein. After 25 months, ten cows that fed on GM maize and seven cowns fed with non-GM maize were slaughtered due to operational reasons. Patrick Guertler from Technische Universität München in Germany and colleagues did a follow-up study by analyzing the slaughtered dairy cows' tissues from the gastrointestinal tract and liver. They did gene expression analysis of major genes involved in inflammation, cell cycle, and programmed cell death (PCD) pathways.
Results showed that there is no significant difference between the gene expression profile of cows fed with GM maize and those fed with non-GM maize. Thus, this implies that MON810 has no harmful effect on major genes of dairy cows involved in PCD, inflammation, and cell cycle in the gastrointestinal tract and in the liver.
The research article is available at http://www.springerlink.com/content/w3004g13217280r1/.
This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)