Aim of the study: The aim of the study was to verify the usefulness of proteomics in evaluating the “substantial equivalence” of transgenic food.
Analyte: Tomato seedlings.
Methodology: As a model for testing this kind of approach, we compared protein expression of two types of tomato plants, having the same genetic background, except for a virus resistance trait introduced by genetic engineering. Proteins were extracted from seedlings of the two types and analyzed by 2-DE (two-dimensional electrophoresis). After staining, gels were compared by image analysis and statistical analysis. Most abundant proteins were identified by mass spectrometry.
System: Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum).
Customer: This study was performed in collaboration with Istituto di Virologia Vegetale, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Torino, Italy; Dipartimento di Chimica IFM, Università di Torino, Torino, Italy; Dipartimento di Biologia Strutturale e Funzionale, Università dell’Insubria, Varese, Italy.
Results: When proteins extracted from seedlings of the two types were analyzed by 2-DE (two-dimensional electrophoresis), no significant difference, either qualitative or quantitative, was detected, indicating that in this case the expression of major proteins was unmodified by the genetic manipulation. Furthermore, most abundant proteins were identified by mass spectrometry, in order to obtain a representative tomato seedlings proteome map.
Advantage of the methodology: Proteomic approach allowed a more in depth analysis for the verification of “substantial equivalence” of transgenic food, i.e., its complete correspondence, from an alimentary point of view, to the “traditional” one from which it derives.