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Ciencia e investigación agraria

versión On-line ISSN 0718-1620

Cienc. Inv. Agr. vol.38 no.1 Santiago abr. 2011

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-16202011000100014 

Cien. Inv. Agr. 38(1):149-153. 2011

RESEARCH NOTE

PLANT BREEDING, GENETICS AND GENETIC RESOURCES

 

Comparison of nutrition composition of transgenic maize (chitinase gene) with its non-transgenic counterpart

Comparación de la composición nutricional del maíz transgénico (gen quitinasa) con maíz no transgénico

 

Yan Ping-mei1, Rui Yu-kui2, Yan Xiao-yan1, Chai Zheng3, Wang Qing1, Du Jian-zhong4, and Sun Yi4

1Taiyuan Normal University, Shanxi, Taiyuan 030012, P. R. China.
2College of Resource and Environment, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.
3Affiliated Secondary School, Shanxi University, Taiyuan 030001, P. R. China.
4
Agricultural Biotechnolgy Center of Shanxi, Taiyuan 030031, P. R. China.


Abstract

In order to compare the nutrition components of transgenic maize seeds (chitinase gene), achieved by the pollen-mediated approach, with its non-transgenic counterpart, Vitamin B1, vitamin B2, fatty acids and essential amino acids of transgenic maize seeds and their counterparts were analyzed by the Chinese national standard methods or AOAC methods. The results showed that the contents of all the six kinds of fatty acids detected in transgenic maize seeds were significantly higher than those in their non-transgenic counterpart, the content of vitamin B2 in transgenic maize was significantly lower than that in non-transgenic maize seeds, the content of total amino acids in transgenic maize seed was higher than that in non-transgenic maize seeds, while vitamin B1 and most of essential amino acid have no significant difference between transgenic maize and non-transgenic maize seeds. According to the above data, transgenic foods should be strictly analyzed to find out whether it can reach the standard of "substantial equivalence" in nutrient composition.

Key words: Transgenic maize, nutrition, fatty acids, essential amino acids, vitamin, chitinase gene.


Resumen

Con el fin de comparar los componentes nutricionales de las semillas de maíz transgénico (gen quitinasa), obtenidos por el método del polen, con respecto a un maíz no transgénico, se analizó la vitamina B1, vitamina B2, ácidos grasos y aminoácidos esenciales de semillas de maíz transgénico y sus homólogos, a través del método chino estándar nacional o métodos de la AOAC. Los resultados mostraron que el contenido de los seis tipos de ácidos grasos detectados en semillas de maíz transgénico fueron significativamente superiores a los de su contraparte no transgénico, el contenido de vitamina B2 en el maíz transgénico fue significativamente menor que en las semillas de maíz no transgénico. El contenido total de aminoácidos en las semillas de maíz transgénico fue mayor que en las semillas de maíz no transgénico, mientras que la vitamina B1, y la mayor parte de los aminoácidos esenciales, no tuvieron ninguna diferencia significativa entre el maíz y las semillas transgénicas de maíz no transgénico. De acuerdo con la información anterior, los alimentos transgénicos deben ser rigurosamente analizados, para saber si se puede alcanzar el estándar de "equivalencia sustancial" en la composición de nutrientes.

Palabras clave: Ácidos de maíz transgénico, nutrición, ácidos grasos, aminoácidos esenciales, vitamina A, gen quitinasa.


 

Introduction

Chitinase hydrolyses chitin and prevents fungi from infecting plants and propagating inside plant tissues. Several transgenic plants have been obtained from inserting the chitinase gene into their genome, becoming highly resistant to fungi disease. (Lorito et al, 1998) Maize is one of the three biggest yield cereal crops and most of maize diseases are fungal diseases, so inserting the chitinase gene into maize is surely an effective approach to resist fungi diseases and ensure food security.

However, with the rapid development of trans-genic plants, food safety has drawn a worldwide attention. Today, researches on transgenic food safety are mainly focused on the detection of exogenous genes (Xu et al., 2009a) and exogenous proteins (Xu et al., 2009b). The introduction of exogenous genes could break the metabolic balance in the plant, or change some physiological and biochemical courses, which could result in food safety problems, including changes in nutrition such as content of protein, vitamins, essential fatty acids, amino acids, etc.

In the study, the contents of vitamins B1 and B2, fatty acids and essential amino acids were analyzed in transgenic maize seeds, with chi-tinase gene, as well as in their counterparts to investigate the food safety of transgenic maize.

Materials and methods

Plant materials

ether was removed by vacuum. The concrete methods refer to Rui's method (Rui et al., 2007).

Methods of analysis

The detection method of vitamin B1 composition and concentration refers to GB/T 5009.842003 (2004), the detection method of vitamin B2 composition and concentration refers to GB/T 5009.85-2003 (2004), the detection method of vitamin C composition and concentration refers to GB/T 5009.86-2003 (2004), the detection methods of amino acids composition and concentration refer to GB/T 5009.124-2003 (2004), and the detection methods of fatty acids composition and concentration refer to AOAC (1995). Statistical analysis: all data were analyzed by Excel and SPSS software.

The transgenic maize seeds and non-transgenic maize seeds were provided by Agricultural Biotechnology Center of Shanxi, Taiyuan, China. The transgenic maize was achieved by the pollen-mediated approach on maize ( Zea mays L. ) cultivar Hai 921, which is the control. Plasmid DNA of pGL a -RC-1 was mixed with fresh pollen of maize inbred in sucrose solution (Wang et al., 2001).

Fatty acid extraction

Ten grams maize seed were ground in a high speed tissue masher. The maize seed powder was extracted with petroleum ether, filtered through filter paper, and then the petroleum

Results and discussion

Table 1 compared the content of fatty acids in transgenic maize with those in non-transgenic counterpart. Six kinds of fatty acids, C14:0, C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C18:2 and C18:3 were found in transgenic maize seeds and its counterpart, and no new fatty acids were found. Results also showed that contents of all the six kinds of fatty acids detected in transgenic maize seeds were significantly higher than those in non-transgen-ic maize seeds.



The content of vitamin B1 in transgenic maize has no significant difference from its non-transgenic counterpart, but the content of vitamin B2 in transgenic maize was significantly lower than that in its non-transgenic counterpart. Vitamin C is not found in either transgenic or non-transgenic maize seed, because the content of Vitamin C is too low (Table 2).


Amino acids are components of protein and the product of the exogenous gene is protein; therefore, whether the insertion of exogenous gene can result in a change of amino acid contents should be an important aspect for transgenic food safety. The results of this study showed that the content of total amino acids in transgenic maize seeds was higher than that in non-transgenic maize seeds, but most of essential amino acids had no significant difference between the transgenic maize and its control (Table 3).


From the above data, the nutrition of the trans-genic maize with chitinase gene from inbred lines Tai 9101 and Zong 31, achieved through the pollen-mediated approach, changed although the cause of the changes should be further researched. So transgenic food should be strictly analyzed not only regarding the exogenous gene and exogenous protein, but also about other components which seem not directly related to the exogenous gene, even though many researches have proven the nutrition of transgenic food showed no changes (Han et al., 2005; Tang et al.,, 2006). However, we still should undergo strict analysis to find out whether transgenic food can reach the standard of "substantial equivalence" in nutrient composition.

References

AOAC. 1995. Official Methods of Analysis. Method 996.06. 16th edition. Arlington, VA, USA. Association of Analytical Communities. Vol. 2, Chapter 41.         [ Links ]

GB/T 5009.85-2003. 2004. Inspection of Grain and Oilseeds: Methods for Determination of Riboflavin in Foods. Standards Press of China, Beijing, China.         [ Links ]

GB/T 5009.84-2003. 2004. Inspection of Grain and Oilseeds: Methods for Determination of Thia-mine (vitamin B1) in Foods. Standards Press of China, Beijing, China.         [ Links ]

GB/T 5009.86-2003. 2004. Method for determination of Ascorbic acid in foods. Standards Press of China, Beijing, China.         [ Links ]

GB/T 5009.124-2003. 2004. Inspection of Grain and Oilseeds: Method for Determination of Amino Acids in Foods. Standards Press of China, Beijing, China.         [ Links ]

Han Junhua, Yang Yuexin, Chen Shurong, Wang Zhu, Yang Xiaoli, Wang Guodong, Men Jianhua. 2005. Comparison of nutrient composition of parental rice and rice genetically modified with cowpea trypsin inhibitor in China. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 18:297-302.         [ Links ]

Lorito M., S.L. Woo, I.G. Fernandez, G. Colucci, G.E. Harman, Pintor- J.A. Toro, E. Filippone , S. Muccifora, C.B. Lawrence, A. Zoina, S. Tuzun, and F. Scala. 1998. Genes from mycoparasitic fungi as a source for improving plant resistance to fungi pathogens. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 95:7860-7865.         [ Links ]

Rui Yukui, Wang Wenya, Zhang Fusuo, Lu Yahai, Fazana Rashid, and Liu Qing. 2007. A new kind of fatty acid emerging from transgenic cotton seed. La Rivista Italiana delle Sostanze Grasse 84(1):40-43.         [ Links ]

Tang M.Z., K.L. Huang, X. Li, K. Zhou, X.Y. He, and Y.B. Luo. 2006. Absence of effect after introducing Bacillus thuringiensis gene on nutritional composition in cottonseed. Journal of Food Science 71(1):S38-S41.         [ Links ]

Wang Jing-Xue, Sun Yi, Cui Gui-Mei, and Hu Jing-Jing. 2001. Transgenic Maize Plants Obtained by Pollen-mediated Transformation. Acta Botanica Sinica 43(3):275 - 279.         [ Links ]

Xu Wentao, Yuan Yanfang, Luo Yunbo, Bai Weibin, Zhang Chunjiao, and Huang Kunlun. 2009a. Event-Specific Detection of Stacked Genetically Modified Maize Btll x GA21 by UP-M-PCR and Real-Time PCR. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 57(2):395-402.         [ Links ]

Xu Wentao, Cao Sishuo, He Xiaoyun, Luo Yun-Bo, Guo Xing, Yuan Yanfang, and Huang Kunlun. 2009b. Safety assessment of Cry1Ab/Ac fusion protein. Food and Chemical Toxicology 47(7):1459-1465.         [ Links ]


Received December 10, 2009. Accepted January 28, 2011.

Corresponding author: ruiyukui@163.com

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