Covering chemical diversity of genetically-modified tomatoes using metabolomics for objective substantial equivalence assessment

PLoS One. 2011 Feb 16;6(2):e16989. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016989.

Abstract

As metabolomics can provide a biochemical snapshot of an organism's phenotype it is a promising approach for charting the unintended effects of genetic modification. A critical obstacle for this application is the inherently limited metabolomic coverage of any single analytical platform. We propose using multiple analytical platforms for the direct acquisition of an interpretable data set of estimable chemical diversity. As an example, we report an application of our multi-platform approach that assesses the substantial equivalence of tomatoes over-expressing the taste-modifying protein miraculin. In combination, the chosen platforms detected compounds that represent 86% of the estimated chemical diversity of the metabolites listed in the LycoCyc database. Following a proof-of-safety approach, we show that % had an acceptable range of variation while simultaneously indicating a reproducible transformation-related metabolic signature. We conclude that multi-platform metabolomics is an approach that is both sensitive and robust and that it constitutes a good starting point for characterizing genetically modified organisms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Food Safety / methods
  • Food, Genetically Modified*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / chemistry*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / genetics
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / metabolism
  • Metabolome
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Models, Biological
  • Nutritive Value
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / chemistry
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Quality Control
  • Taste / physiology

Substances

  • Glycoproteins
  • miraculin protein, Synsepalum dulcificum