Attempts to detect transgenic and endogenous plant DNA and transgenic protein in muscle from broilers fed YieldGard Corn Borer Corn

Poult Sci. 2003 Mar;82(3):371-80. doi: 10.1093/ps/82.3.371.


Questions regarding the digestive fate of DNA and protein from transgenic grain have been raised in regard to human consumption and trade of animal products (e.g., meat, milk, and eggs) from farm animals fed transgenic crops. Using highly sensitive, fully characterized analytical methods, fragments of transgenic and endogenous plant DNA, as well as transgenic protein, were not detected in chicken breast muscle samples from animals fed YieldGard Corn Borer Corn event MON 810 (YG). Total DNA was extracted from breast muscle samples from chickens fed for 42 d with a diet including either 55 to 60% YG grain or 55 to 60% conventional corn grain. DNA preparations were analyzed by PCR followed by Southern blot hybridization for the presence of a 211-bp fragment of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cry1Ab gene and a 213-bp fragment of the endogenous corn gene sh2 (encoding ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase). By using 1 microg of input DNA per reaction, none of the extracted samples was positive for cry1Ab or sh2 at the limit of detection for these PCR assays. A 396-bp fragment of the chicken ovalbumin (ov) gene, used as a positive control, was amplified from all samples showing that the DNA preparations were amenable to PCR amplification. By using a competitive immunoassay with a limit of detection of approximately 60 ng of CrylAb protein per gram of chicken muscle, neither the CrylAb protein nor immunoreactive peptide fragments were detectable in the breast muscle homogenates from chickens fed YG grain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animals
  • Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Toxins*
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Chickens*
  • DNA, Plant / analysis*
  • DNA, Recombinant / analysis*
  • Endotoxins / analysis
  • Endotoxins / genetics
  • Glucose-1-Phosphate Adenylyltransferase
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry*
  • Nucleotidyltransferases*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recombinant Proteins / analysis
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Endotoxins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Sh2 protein, plant
  • insecticidal crystal protein, Bacillus Thuringiensis
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • Glucose-1-Phosphate Adenylyltransferase