Risk assessment and evaluation of epidermal growth factor (EGF) transgenic soybean: responses of Cyprinus carpio fed on EGF transgenic soybean

Sung-Dug Oh1,*   Seok-Ki Min2   Jae Kwang  Kim3   Jung-Ho  Park4   Chang-Gi Kim4   Soo Yun Park1   

1Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Rural Development Administration, Jeonju 54874, Korea
2Korea Testing & Research Institute, Hwasun 58141, Korea
3Division of Life Sciences, College of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Korea
4Bio-evaluation Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Cheongju 28116, Korea


The epidermal growth factor (EGF) transgenic soybean was developed and biosynthesis of human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) in soybean seeds was confirmed. Also, EGF transgenic soybean were found to contain a herbicide resistance selectable marker by introduction of phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT) gene from the Streptomyces hygroscopicus. For biosafety assessment, the EGF transgenic soybean expressing the EGF biosynthesis gene EGF and herbicide resistant gene PAT was tested to determine effects on survival of Cyprinus carpio, commonly used as a model organism in ecotoxicological studies. C. carpio was fed 100% ground soybean suspension, EGF soybean or non-genetically modified (GM) counterpart soybean (Gwangan). Gene expression of EGF soybean was confirmed by PCR and ELISA to have EGF/PAT. Feeding test showed that no significant differences in cumulative immobility or abnormal response between C. carpio samples fed on EGF soybean and non-GM counterpart soybean. The 48 h-EC50 values of the EGF and non-GM soybean were 1,688 mg·L-1 (95% confidence limits: 1,585 - 1,798 mg·L-1) and 1,575 mg·L-1 (95% confidence limits: 1,433 - 1,731 mg·L-1), respectively. The soybean NOEC (no observed effect concentration) value for C. carpio was suggested to be 625 mg·L-1. We concluded that there was no significant difference in toxicity for non-target organisms (C. carpio) between the EGF soybean and non-GM counterparts.

Figures & Tables

Fig. 1. Confirmation of the T-DNA genes on the non-genetically modified (GM) soybean and EGF transgenic soybean. GA, non-genetically modified soybean (Gwangan); EGF, EGF transgenic soybean; , phosphinothricin acetyltransferase gene; , epidermal growth factor gene.