• Open Access

Comparison of two GM maize varieties with a near-isogenic non-GM variety using transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics


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The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of four nontargeted analytical methodologies in the detection of unintended effects that could be derived during genetic manipulation of crops. Three profiling technologies were used to compare the transcriptome, proteome and metabolome of two transgenic maize lines with the respective control line. By comparing the profiles of the two transgenic lines grown in the same location over three growing seasons, we could determine the extent of environmental variation, while the comparison with the control maize line allowed the investigation of effects caused by a difference in genotype. The effect of growing conditions as an additional environmental effect was also evaluated by comparing the Bt-maize line with the control line from plants grown in three different locations in one growing season. The environment was shown to play an important effect in the protein, gene expression and metabolite levels of the maize samples tested where 5 proteins, 65 genes and 15 metabolites were found to be differentially expressed. A distinct separation between the three growing seasons was also found for all the samples grown in one location. Together, these environmental factors caused more variation in the different transcript/protein/metabolite profiles than the different genotypes.