Safety assessment of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis rice T1c-19 in Sprague-Dawley rats from metabonomics and bacterial profile perspectives

IUBMB Life. 2012 Mar;64(3):242-50. doi: 10.1002/iub.601. Epub 2012 Jan 3.


Bacillus thuringiensis rice is facing commercialization as the main food source in the near future. The unintended effects of genetically modified (GM) organisms are the most important barriers to their promotion. We aimed to establish a new in vivo evaluation model for genetically modified foods by using metabonomics and bacterial profile approaches. T1c-19 rice flour or its transgenic parent MH63 was used at 70% wt/wt to produce diets that were fed to rats for ∼ 90 days. Urine metabolite changes were detected using (1)H NMR. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to detect the bacterial profiles between the two groups. The metabonomics was analyzed for metabolite changes in rat urine, when compared with the non-GM rice group, where rats were fed a GM rice diet. Several metabolites correlated with rat age and sex but not with GM rice diet. Significant biological differences were not identified between the GM rice diet and the non-GM rice diet. The bacteria related to rat urine metabolites were also discussed. The results from metabonomics and bacterial profile analyses were comparable with the results attained using the traditional method. Because metabonomics and bacterial profiling offer noninvasive, dynamic approaches for monitoring food safety, they provide a novel process for assessing the safety of GM foods.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / genetics*
  • Bacillus thuringiensis / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Diet
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Flour / microbiology
  • Food Safety*
  • Food, Genetically Modified / microbiology
  • Food, Genetically Modified / toxicity*
  • Male
  • Metabolomics*
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / microbiology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / microbiology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / toxicity*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Urinalysis


  • Biomarkers
  • DNA, Bacterial