Bt176 corn in poultry nutrition: physiological characteristics and fate of recombinant plant DNA in chickens

Poult Sci. 2005 Mar;84(3):385-94. doi: 10.1093/ps/84.3.385.


A genetically modified Bt176 corn hybrid, which contains an insecticidal protein against the European corn borer, and its conventional, nonmodified counterpart were evaluated in 4 separate trials to verify substantial equivalence in feeding value and animal performance. Thirty-six individually kept laying hens and 3 replicates of 94 broiler chickens each, assigned to 12 cages, were fed 2 different hen and broiler diets containing either 60% conventional or 60% Bt176 corn. The nutrient compositions of the 2 corn hybrids and the 2 corn diets revealed no major differences. Furthermore, metabolism and performance data revealed no significant differences between the birds that received the conventional, nonmodified corn, and those that received the modified corn diets. The detection of the genetic modification, by PCR, in feed obtained from insect-resistant Bt corn, in tissues and products from animals fed Bt corn is described. In all evaluated chicken tissues of muscle, liver, and spleen, the corn-chloroplast ivr gene fragment was amplified. It can be deduced from these findings and from other studies that the transfer of DNA fragments into the body is a normal process that takes place constantly. Nevertheless, no recombinant plant DNA fragments such as recombinant bla or cry1A(b) fragments could be found. Bt-gene specific constructs from the Bt corn were not detected in any of the poultry samples, neither in organs, meat, nor eggs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Toxins / genetics*
  • Chickens / metabolism*
  • DNA, Plant / analysis*
  • DNA, Plant / metabolism
  • DNA, Recombinant / analysis
  • Eggs / analysis
  • Endotoxins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Meat / analysis
  • Oviposition
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Toxins
  • DNA, Plant
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • Endotoxins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • insecticidal crystal protein, Bacillus Thuringiensis