Crop Biotech Update

Whole-Genome Analysis of GM Rice Expressing Edible Vaccine Against Pollen Allergy

August 28, 2013

Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is one of the most utilized techniques in introducing novel traits in crops. Through this technique, a tumor-inducing DNA molecule from Agrobacterium tumefaciens is inserted to the host genome. However, it is still not explained how the host genome is modified by this event at single-base resolution.

Researchers from National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences led by Taiji Kawakatsu conducted a whole-genome sequencing of GM rice line OSCR11 to evaluate the genetic difference of GM crops and their host. OSCR11 expresses a seed-based edible vaccine with two major pollen allergens (Cry j 1 and Cry j 2) against Japanese cedar pollinosis. Results showed that the genetic difference between OSCR11 and its host (a123) were significantly less than those between a123 and its background cultivar Koshihikari. The nucleotide base substitution present in OSCR11, relative to a123, was similar with somaclonal variation. Mutations in OSCR11 might have happened during the cell culture steps. Further analysis showed similar RNA molecules of a123 and OSCR11, maintaining genomic integrity between them.

Read the research article at http://intl-dnaresearch.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/08/15/dnares.dst036.full.