'Golden Rice': Unexpected genomic effects

15 February 2017 / A new publication has reported unintended effects in genetically engineered rice producing precursors of vitamin A, so-called carotenoids. Crossing the manipulated rice with the Indian variety Swarna led to a nasty surprise: The resulting plants showed extensive disturbance in their growth. The researchers identified several reasons for this: The new gene constructs interfere with the plant’s own gene for producing growth hormones, and the additional gene constructs were not, as intended, active solely in the kernels, but also in the leaves. This led to a substantial reduction in the content of chlorophyll that is essential for vital functions in the plants.

https://www.testbiotech.org/en/node/1859

Molecular and Functional Characterization of GR2-R1 Event Based Backcross Derived Lines of Golden Rice in the Genetic Background of a Mega Rice Variety Swarna

Homozygous Golden Rice lines developed in the background of Swarna through marker assisted backcross breeding (MABB) using transgenic GR2-R1 event as a donor for the provitamin A trait have high levels of provitamin A (up to 20 ppm) but are dwarf with pale green leaves and drastically reduced panicle size, grain number and yield as compared to the recurrent parent, Swarna. In this study, we carried out detailed morphological, biochemical and molecular characterization of these lines in a quest to identify the probable reasons for their abnormal phenotype. Nucleotide blast analysis with the primer sequences used to amplify the transgene revealed that the integration of transgene disrupted the native OsAux1 gene, which codes for an auxin transmembrane transporter protein. Real time expression analysis of the transgenes (ZmPsy and CrtI) driven by endosperm-specific promoter revealed the leaky expression of the transgene in the vegetative tissues. We propose that the disruption of OsAux1 disturbed the fine balance of plant growth regulators viz., auxins, gibberellic acid and abscisic acid, leading to the abnormalities in the growth and development of the lines homozygous for the transgene. The study demonstrates the conserved roles of OsAux1 gene in rice and Arabidopsis.

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0169600

TWN Biosafety Info: Assessment of Stacked Bt Soybean Overlooks Potential Health Risks

Contents:

THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE

Dear Friends and Colleagues

Assessment of Stacked Bt Soybean Overlooks Potential Health Risks

In June 2012, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved, for the first time, genetically engineered stacked soybean MON87701 × MON89788, produced by Monsanto and sold under the brand name Intacta, for import and use in food and feed in the EU. The soybeans combine the expression of an insecticidal Bt toxin, Cry1Ac, present in the parental event MON87701, with herbicide resistance to glyphosate from parental event MON89788.

Read more: TWN Biosafety Info: Assessment of Stacked Bt Soybean Overlooks Potential Health Risks

GMO Maize NOT equivalent!

An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveals metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process

Glyphosate tolerant genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 was assessed as ‘substantially equivalent’ to its isogenic counterpart by a nutrient composition analysis in order to be granted market approval. We have applied contemporary in depth molecular profiling methods of NK603 maize kernels (sprayed or unsprayed with Roundup) and the isogenic corn to reassess its substantial equivalence status. Proteome profiles of the maize kernels revealed alterations in the levels of enzymes of glycolysis and TCA cycle pathways, which were reflective of an imbalance in energy metabolism.

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep37855

New Research Shows Failings of GMO Insect Resistance, Corn Crop in Jeopardy

New research adds to evidence that the effectiveness of popular genetically engineered traits used to protect corn and cotton from insects is failing, putting U.S. corn production potential in jeopardy, and spurring a need for increased insecticide use.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-gillam/new-research-shows-failin_b_14003604.html

India’s Organic Rice Revolution Proves GMOs Are Unnecessary

Farmers in India’s poorest region are recording record rice yields by growing organically, debunking once and for all the myth that GMOs are necessary to feed the world’s growing population.
In a world with an ever-increasing human population, increased food production is of obvious concern. With the world population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, many people, especially those with connections to biotechnology and agrochemical companies, say that genetically modified food (GMO) is necessary in order to satisfy increased global demand for food. However, do we really need GMOs to feed the world?
http://anonhq.com/indias-organic-rice-revolution-proves-gmos-unnecessary/

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