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Gene expression profiles of MON810 and comparable non-GM maize varieties cultured in the field are more similar than are those of conventional lines

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Maize is a major food crop and genetically modified (GM) varieties represented 24% of the global production in 2007. Authorized GM organisms have been tested for human and environmental safety. We previously used microarrays to compare the transcriptome profiles of widely used commercial MON810 versus near-isogenic varieties and reported differential expression of a small set of sequences in leaves of in vitro cultured plants of AristisBt/Aristis and PR33P67/PR33P66 (Coll et al. 2008). Here we further assessed the significance of these differential expression patterns in plants grown in a real context, i.e. in the field. Most sequences that were differentially expressed in plants cultured in vitro had the same expression values in MON810 and comparable varieties when grown in the field; and no sequence was found to be differentially regulated in the two variety pairs grown in the field. The differential expression patterns observed between in vitro and field culture were similar between MON810 and comparable varieties, with higher divergence between the two conventional varieties. This further indicates that MON810 and comparable non-GM varieties are equivalent except for the introduced character.

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Complementary DNA.


Certified reference material.


European Food Safety Authority.


European Union.


Genetically modified.


Genetically modified organism.


Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements.


International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications.


Messenger RNA.


Optical density.

Real-time RT-PCR:

Reverse transcription coupled to real-time polymerase chain reaction.


Vegetative two-leaf stage.


Tasseling stage.


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We specially thank T. Esteve (CRAG), J. Serra and J. Salvia (E. E. A. Mas Badia) for valuable suggestions. This work was financially supported by the Spanish MEC project with ref. AGL2007-65903/AGR. AC received a studentship from the Generalitat de Catalunya (2005FI 00144).

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Correspondence to Maria Pla.

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Anna Coll and Anna Nadal have contributed equally to this work.

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Coll, A., Nadal, A., Collado, R. et al. Gene expression profiles of MON810 and comparable non-GM maize varieties cultured in the field are more similar than are those of conventional lines. Transgenic Res 18, 801–808 (2009).

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