Addressing the issue of horizontal gene transfer from a diet containing genetically modified components into rat tissues
AbstractGenetically modified (GM) food crops are considered to have the potential of providing food security especially in developing countries. Scientists have raised concern over the hazards associated with the consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). One of these hazards, which have great controversy reports, is the possible horizontal gene transfer from GM-food or feed to human or animal tissues. Many researches were conducted to investigate the presence of some transgenic sequences in animal tissues fed on GM- crops. Many of the inserted genes in the GM-crops are under the control of the promoter of the Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMVP35S) and produce insecticidal proteins. Health hazards are suggested to accompany the ingestion of this promoter. CaMVP35S can function in a wide range of organisms (plants and animals). It has also been demonstrated that the CaMV-P35S promoter sequence can convert an adjacent tissue- and organ-specific gene promoter into a globally active promoter. The present work was conducted to evaluate the possibility of horizontal gene transfer from a diet containing DNA segments from Cauliflower mosaic virus -35S promoter (CaMVP-35S) to the cells of different organs of rats fed for three months on diets containing genetically modified components. Analysis of the results revealed that: 1) ingested fragments from the CaMV-35S promoter incorporated into blood, liver, and brain tissues of experimental rats, 2) The total mean of transfer of GM target sequences increased significantly by increasing the feeding durations, and 3) The affinity of different transgenic fragments from the ingested GM-diet, to be incorporated into the different tissues of rats varied from one target sequence to the other.
Keywords: Genetic modification, transgenic sequences, GM-crops, gene flow, CaMV P-35S.
African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol 13(48) 4410-4418