Trusted information & resources for animal nutrition.


Testing of a Genetically Modified Soybean

Papineni, S. and co-workers
August 2017

Broiler chickens are fast growing monogastric animals considered a sensitive test species to evaluate the safety and nutritional equivalence between transgenic and non-transgenic grains as part of the human safety evaluation process. DAS-44406-6 soybean expresses three herbicide-tolerant proteins: the aryloxyalkanoate dioxygenase-12 (AAD-12) enzyme which provides tolerance to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) herbicides, the double-mutant 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (2mEPSPS) enzyme encoded by a modified version of the epsps gene from maize (Zea mays), which provides tolerance to glyphosate herbicides, and the phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT) enzyme from Streptomyces viridochromogenes, which provides tolerance to glufosinate herbicides.

A 42-day broiler study was conducted with diets containing toasted DAS-44406-6 soybean meal to compare the nutritional value and safety to a non-transgenic, near-isoline soybean and conventional comparators. The study had five dietary treatments, with 12 pens per treatment, and 10 birds per pen. Broiler performance and carcass parameters were measured over a 6-week period of exposure to diets containing different sources of toasted soybean meal and hulls. Among the 13 traits measured only thigh weight was numerically different (and non significant) between birds fed DAS-44406-6 soybean meal and those fed the isoline soybean meal. The researchers concluded that these results indicate that DAS-44406-6 soybeans are nutritionally equivalent to conventional varieties.