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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Use Proteomics to Compare GM and Non-GM Beans

May 6, 2015

Scientists from Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil used principal component analysis (PCA) to differentiate the proteomic profile of transgenic bean (Embrapa 5.1) from its non-GM counterpart.

Perola and Pontal bean varieties were used in the study. GM and non-GM seeds of each variety were planted under the same controlled conditions and the leaves were harvested. The proteins were extracted and subjected to 2D gel electrophoresis to produce protein maps which were examined by image analysis software.

Results showed that GM and non-GM Perola varieties were separated from the GM and non-GM Pontal varieties. However, within each variety the GM and non-GM types could not be distinguished indicating that the effects of genetic modification on plant gene expression are weaker than those of conventional plant breeding. In another analysis, the GM and non-GM lines were differentiated. Results showed significant differences in the proteomic profile of the GM variety and its non-GM counterpart.

The researchers concluded that the results showed higher similarity between GM variety and its counterpart than between two common bean varieties. Thus, PCA is a useful tool to compare proteomes of GM and non-GM plant varieties.

Read the research article at the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.