Environmental Toxiology and Chemistry (2010) 29: 182-190.

András Székács, Éva Lauber, Judit Juracsek and Béla Darvas

Cry1Ab toxin production of MON 810 transgenic maize

Levels of Cry1Ab toxin were detected in genetically modified maize of genetic event MON 810 against near isogenic maize as negative control by two commercial immunoassays. The immunoassays were characterized for their cross-reactivity (CR) between Cry1Ab protoxin and activated toxin, and were compared with each other for toxin detection in a reference plant sample. Cry1Ab toxin levels, corrected for active toxin content using the CR values obtained, were monitored in maize DK-440 BTY through the entire vegetation period. The toxin concentration was found to show a rapid rise in the leaves to 17.15 +/- 1.66 microg/g by the end of the fifth week of cultivation, followed by a gradual decline to 9.61 +/- 2.07 microg/g by the 16th week and a slight increase again to 13.51 +/- 1.96 microg/g during the last 2 weeks due to partial desiccation. Similar but lesser fluctuation of toxin levels was seen in the roots between 5.32 +/- 0.49 microg/g at the less differentiated V1 stage and 2.25 +/- 0.30 microg/g during plant development. In contrast, Cry1Ab toxin levels appeared to be stably 1.36 +/- 0.45, 4.98 +/- 0.31, 0.47 +/- 0.03, and 0.83 +/- 0.15 microg/g in the stem, anther wall, pollen, and grain, respectively. Toxin concentrations produced at the VT-R4 phenological stages under actual cultivation conditions were compared with each other in three different years within an 8-year period.