European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 220, Issue 3–4, pp 438–443 | Cite as

Detection of RNA variants transcribed from the transgene in Roundup Ready soybean

  • Andreas RangEmail author
  • Bettina Linke
  • Bärbel Jansen
Original Paper


The acreage for genetically modified crops (GMOs)—particularly soybean—has steadily increased since 1996, when the first crop of Roundup Ready soybean (intended for food production) was grown. The Roundup Ready soybean varieties derive from a soybean line into which a glyphosate-resistant enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate-synthase (EPSPS) gene was introduced. The inserted and the flanking regions in Roundup Ready soybean have recently been characterized. It was shown that a further 250-bp fragment of the epsps gene is localized downstream of the introduced nos terminator of transcription, derived from the nopaline synthase gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens. We examined whether this 250-bp fragment could be of functional importance. Our data demonstrate that at least 150 bp of this DNA region are transcribed in Roundup Ready soybean. Transcription of the fragment depends on whether read-through events ignore the nos terminator signal located upstream. Our data also indicate that the read-through product is further processed, resulting in four different RNA variants from which the transcribed region of the nos terminator is completely deleted. Deletion results in the generation of open reading frames which might code for (as yet unknown) EPSPS fusion proteins. The nos terminator is used as a regulatory element in several other GMOs used for food production. This implies that read through products and transcription of RNA variants might be a common feature in these GMOs.


Genetically modified organism (GMO) Roundup Ready soybean Termination of transcription Post-transcriptional processing of RNA 



We would like to thank Thomas Kammertöns and Monika Schwarz for support and valuable discussion.


  1. 1.
    James C (2003) Preview: global status of commercialized transgenic crops: 2003, ISAAA briefs no. 30. ISAAA, Ithaca, NYGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Nair RS, Fuchs RL, Schuette SA (2002) Toxicol Pathol 30:117–125PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Padgette SR, Kolacz KH, Delannay X, Re DB, LaVallee BJ, Tinius CN, Rhodes WK, Otero YI, Barry GF, Eichholtz DA, Peschke VM, Nida DL, Taylor NB, Kishore GM (1995) Crop Sci 35:1451–1461Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Windels P, Taverniers I, Depicker A, Van Bockstaele E, De Loose M (2001) Eur Food Res Technol 213:107–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nassal M, Schaller H (1993) Trends Microbiol 1:221–228PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wang WK, Chen MY, Chuang CY, Jeang KT, Huang LM (2000) J Microbiol Immunol Infect 33:131–140PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Roebuck KA, Saifuddin M (1999) Gene Expr 8:67–84PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zhao J, Hyman L, Moore C (1999) Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 63:405–445PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (1998) § 35 LMBG L-23.01.22. Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Brown JWS (1996) Plant J 10:771–780PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    White O, Soderlund C, Shanmugan P, Fields C (1992) Plant Mol Biol 19:1057–1064PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal Institute for Risk AssessmentCenter for Novel Foods and Genetic EngineeringBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Present address: University Hospital CharitéInstitute of VirologyBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations