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Comparison of the Metabolome and Proteome of GM and Non-GM Wheat: Defining Substantial Equivalence

Institutions
Rothamstead Research
Start date
2001
End date
2005
Objective
This research project compares GM wheat with non-GM wheat using the latest scientific methods. This project will apply modern proteomic and metabolomic analyses to both grain and vegetative tissue from wild-type and transgenic wheat lines available in IACR. The project comprises three phases:

1. Establishment of methods for the analysis of the metabolome and proteome of wheat grain and vegetative tissue.

2. Use of these methods to determine the variability of metabolite and protein profiles in non-GM wheat grown and stored under different conditions.

3. Application of the methods to compare 19 lines of GM wheat with non-GM wheat grown under a range of conditions in the field and in controlled environments.

Comparison of the proteomic and metabolomic data with those from transcriptome analysis of the same plant material, generated from a separate project already funded by BBSRC in IACR, will allow determination of equivalence of GM and non-GM wheat lines at all molecular levels.

In this way important questions relating to the expected and unintended effects of transgene expression on the molecular composition of this important food material will be answered.

It will also provide methods for routine profiling of transgenic grain and grain products, as well as providing data to allow the rigorous examination of the 'substantial equivalence' concept.

More information
Wheat is the major crop in UK, EU and world agriculture. It is used to make bread, other baked goods, pasta and noodles.

However, wheat flour and other ingredients derived from wheat (e.g. gluten and starch) are also widely used to confer specific properties to other food products. Genetic engineering of wheat to alter various properties such as pest resistance, herbicide resistance, plant-stature and grain quality, is well advanced.

The pervasiveness of wheat in food systems means that transgenic grain is likely to be used for a wide range of products in addition to those traditionally associated with wheat.

Thus, from a food-safety point of view, wheat is an important system for development of methods to assess the molecular consequences of transgenesis.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
G02003
Categories
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Commodities
Grains, Beans, Legumes