Int. J. Biosci.13(2), 276-290, August 2018
Genetically modified crops require biosafety evaluation for approval from the regulatory competent authorities prior to commercialization. Genetically modified (GM) sugarcane expressing the Arabidopsis Vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase gene (AVP1) which confers drought tolerance has been developed at NIBGE. The risks associated with GM sugarcane containing the AVP1 gene were evaluated in a sub-chronic feeding study on rabbits. Various parameters including body weight, food consumption, serum biochemistry, haematology, absolute and relative organ weight were compared between rabbits fed on GM and non-GM sugarcane after consumption for 90-day. In addition, genotoxicity was conducted among treatment groups and mutagenic potential was determined with AVP1 purified protein in an Ames assay. No adverse effects related to GM and normal diet were detected. The results obtained did not reveal any statistically significant differences in the micronuclei frequency or any DNA damage in rabbit’s peripheral blood cells. Furthermore, AVP1 purified protein showed no mutagenic activity at the concentration of 512µg/plate. This is the first report on biosafety of AVP1 sugarcane in Pakistan and scientific data generated through this research will be helpful for the commercial release of AVP1 GM sugarcane.
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