European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 212, Issue 2, pp 129–134

The fate of forage plant DNA in farm animals: a collaborative case-study investigating cattle and chicken fed recombinant plant material

  • R. Einspanier
  • Andreas Klotz
  • Jana Kraft
  • Karen Aulrich
  • Rita Poser
  • Fredi Schwägele
  • Gerhard Jahreis
  • Gerhard Flachowsky
ORIGINAL PAPER

DOI: 10.1007/s002170000248

Cite this article as:
Einspanier, R., Klotz, A., Kraft, J. et al. Eur Food Res Technol (2001) 212: 129. doi:10.1007/s002170000248

Abstract

 The fate of ingested recombinant plant DNA in farm animals (cattle and chicken) being fed a diet containing conventional maize or recombinant Bacillus thuringiensis toxin-maize (Bt-maize) is described. The probability of the detection by polymerase chain reaction of chloroplast-specific gene fragments of different lengths (199 bp and 532 bp) and a Bt-maize-specific fragment [truncated version of CryIA(b)] is shown. First data indicated that only short DNA fragments (<200 bp) derived from plant chloroplasts could be detected in the blood lymphocytes of cows. In all other cattle organs investigated (muscle, liver, spleen, kidney) plant DNAs were not found, except for faint signals in milk. Furthermore, Bt-gene fragments possibly recording the uptake of recombinant maize, were not detected in any sample from cattle. However, in all chicken tissues (muscle, liver, spleen, kidney) the short maize chloroplast gene fragment was amplified. In contrast to this, no foreign plant DNA fragments were found in eggs. Bt-gene specific constructs originating from recombinant Bt-maize were not detectable in any of these poultry samples either.

Keywords Recombinant plants DNA transfer Polymerase chain reaction Farm animals Bacillus thuringiensis toxin-maize 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Einspanier
    • 1
  • Andreas Klotz
    • 1
  • Jana Kraft
    • 2
  • Karen Aulrich
    • 3
  • Rita Poser
    • 4
  • Fredi Schwägele
    • 4
  • Gerhard Jahreis
    • 2
  • Gerhard Flachowsky
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut für Physiologie, FML, Weihenstephaner Berg 3, Technische Universität München, 85350 Freising, Germany e-mail: einspani@weihenstephan.de Tel.: +49-8161-713510 Fax: +49-8161-714204DE
  2. 2.Institut für Ernährung und Umwelt, Friedrich Schiller Universität, Dornburger Str. 24, 07743 Jena, GermanyDE
  3. 3.Institut für Tierernährung, Bundesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, GermanyDE
  4. 4.Institut für Chemie und Physik, Bundesanstalt für Fleischforschung, Baumann Str. 20, 95326 Kulmbach, GermanyDE

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