Effects of feeding rations with genetically modified whole cottonseed to lactating Holstein cows

J Dairy Sci. 2004 Jun;87(6):1778-85. doi: 10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(04)73333-0.


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate dry matter intake (DMI), milk yield, and milk composition from feeding rations that contained different sources of genetically modified whole cottonseed to Argentinean Holstein dairy cows. Twenty-four lactating multiparous Argentinean Holstein dairy cows were used in 2 experiments with a replicated 4 x 4 Latin square design, with cows averaging 565 kg body weight and 53 d in milk at the beginning of the experiments. Treatments in Experiment 1 were: Bollgard cotton containing the cry1Ac gene, Bollgard II cotton containing cry1Ac and cry2Ab genes, Roundup Ready cotton containing the cp4 epsps gene, and a control nongenetically modified but genetically similar cottonseed. In Experiment 2, two commercial sources, a parental control line, and the transgenic cotton containing both cry1Ac and cp4 epsps genes were used as treatments. All cows received the same total mixed ration but with different whole cottonseed sources. Cottonseed was included to provide 2.50 kg per cow daily (dry matter [DM] basis) or about 10% of the total diet DM. The ingredient composition of the total mixed ration was 32% alfalfa hay, 28% corn silage, 22% corn grain, 17% soybean meal, and 2% minerals and vitamins. In addition, genomic DNA was extracted from a subset of milk samples and analyzed by polymerase chain reaction followed by Southern blot hybridization for small fragments of the cry1Ac transgene and an endogenous cotton gene, acp1. No sample was positive for transgenic or plant DNA fragments at the limits of detection for the assays following detailed data evaluation criteria. The DMI, milk yield, milk composition, body weight, and body condition score did not differ among treatments. Cottonseed from genetically modified varieties used in these studies yielded similar performance in lactating dairy cows when compared to non-transgenic control and reference cottonseed.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Body Constitution / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cattle / metabolism
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Cottonseed Oil / administration & dosage*
  • DNA, Plant / analysis
  • DNA, Plant / isolation & purification
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Female
  • Gossypium / genetics*
  • Lactation / drug effects*
  • Lactation / metabolism
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Milk / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Random Allocation


  • Cottonseed Oil
  • DNA, Plant