Anna Coll

Universitat de Girona, Girona, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (8)27.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Worldwide maize is the second major agricultural commodity and around one-fourth is currently biotech, with significant application of the insect resistant event MON810 particularly in the European Union. Grains are the major commercialized part of the plant, and can be harvested after maturity (for food and feed purposes) or at late milky-starchy stage (for forage uses, with the whole plant). We assessed possible proteomic unintended effects of the MON810 transgene using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry. To keep in a realistic scenario we used plants grown in agricultural fields in a region where ~50% of maize was MON810, and analyzed grains at milky-starchy stage. In maize, differential transcripts and metabolites between GM and comparable non-GM varieties tend to be variety specific. Thus, we analyzed two variety pairs, DKC6575/Tietar and PR33P67/PR33P66 which are considered representative of Food and Agriculture Organization 700 and 600 varieties commercially grown in the region. MON810 and non-GM milky-starchy grains had virtually identical proteomic patterns, with a very small number of spots showing fold-variations in the 1-1.8 range. They were all variety specific and had divergent identities and functions. Although 2DE allows the analysis of a limited dataset our results support substantial equivalence between MON810 and comparable non-GM varieties.
    Transgenic Research 10/2010; 20(4):939-49. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Besides the intended effects that give a genetically modified (GM) plant the desired trait, unintended differences between GM and non-GM comparable plants may also occur. Profiling technologies allow their identification, and a number of examples demonstrating that unintended effects are limited and diverse have recently been reported. Both from the food safety aspect and for research purposes, it is important to discern unintended changes produced by the transgene and its expression from those that may be attributed to other factors. Here, we show differential expression of around 0.40% transcriptome between conventional rice var. Senia and Senia-afp constitutively expressing the AFP antifungal protein. Analysis of one-fifth of the regulated sequences showed that around 35% of the unintended effects could be attributed to the process used to produce GM plants, based on in vitro tissue culture techniques. A further ∼15% were event specific, and their regulation was attributed to host gene disruption and genome rearrangements at the insertion site, and effects on proximal sequences. Thus, only around half the transcriptional unintended effects could be associated to the transgene itself. A significant number of changes in Senia-afp and Senia are part of the plant response to stress conditions, and around half the sequences for which up-regulation was attributed to the transgene were induced in conventional (but not transgenic) plants after wounding. Unintended effects might, as such, putatively result in widening the self-resistance characteristics because of the transgene in GM plants.
    Plant Biotechnology Journal 10/2010; 9(6):693-702. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in many countries follows strict regulations to ensure that only safety-tested products are marketed. Over the last few years, targeted approaches have been complemented by profiling methods to assess possible unintended effects of transformation. Here we used a commercial (Affymertix) microarray platform (i.e. allowing assessing the expression of approximately 1/3 of the genes of maize) to evaluate transcriptional differences between commercial MON810 GM maize and non-transgenic crops in real agricultural conditions, in a region where about 70% of the maize grown was MON810. To consider natural variation in gene expression in relation to biotech plants we took two common MON810/non-GM variety pairs as examples, and two farming practices (conventional and low-nitrogen fertilization). MON810 and comparable non-GM varieties grown in the field have very low numbers of sequences with differential expression, and their identity differs among varieties. Furthermore, we show that the differences between a given MON810 variety and the non-GM counterpart do not appear to depend to any major extent on the assayed cultural conditions, even though these differences may slightly vary between the conditions. In our study, natural variation explained most of the variability in gene expression among the samples. Up to 37.4% was dependent upon the variety (obtained by conventional breeding) and 31.9% a result of the fertilization treatment. In contrast, the MON810 GM character had a very minor effect (9.7%) on gene expression in the analyzed varieties and conditions, even though similar cryIA(b) expression levels were detected in the two MON810 varieties and nitrogen treatments. This indicates that transcriptional differences of conventionally-bred varieties and under different environmental conditions should be taken into account in safety assessment studies of GM plants.
    Plant Molecular Biology 03/2010; 73(3):349-62. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maize is a major food crop and genetically modified (GM) varieties represented 24% of the global production in 2007. Authorized GM organisms have been tested for human and environmental safety. We previously used microarrays to compare the transcriptome profiles of widely used commercial MON810 versus near-isogenic varieties and reported differential expression of a small set of sequences in leaves of in vitro cultured plants of AristisBt/Aristis and PR33P67/PR33P66 (Coll et al. 2008). Here we further assessed the significance of these differential expression patterns in plants grown in a real context, i.e. in the field. Most sequences that were differentially expressed in plants cultured in vitro had the same expression values in MON810 and comparable varieties when grown in the field; and no sequence was found to be differentially regulated in the two variety pairs grown in the field. The differential expression patterns observed between in vitro and field culture were similar between MON810 and comparable varieties, with higher divergence between the two conventional varieties. This further indicates that MON810 and comparable non-GM varieties are equivalent except for the introduced character.
    Transgenic Research 05/2009; 18(5):801-8. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in many countries follows strict regulations to assure that only products that have been safety tested in relation to human health and the environment are marketed. Thus, GMOs must be authorized before use. By complementing more targeted approaches, profiling methods can assess possible unintended effects of transformation. We used microarrays to compare the transcriptome profiles of widely commercialized maize MON810 varieties and their non-GM near-isogenic counterparts. The expression profiles of MON810 seedlings are more similar to those of their corresponding near-isogenic varieties than are the profiles of other lines produced by conventional breeding. However, differential expression of approximately 1.7 and approximately 0.1% of transcripts was identified in two variety pairs (AristisBt/Aristis and PR33P67/PR33P66) that had similar cryIA(b) mRNA levels, demonstrating that commercial varieties of the same event have different similarity levels to their near-isogenic counterparts without the transgene (note that these two pairs also show phenotypic differences). In the tissues, developmental stage and varieties analyzed, we could not identify any gene differentially expressed in all variety-pairs. However, a small set of sequences were differentially expressed in various pairs. Their relation to the transgenesis was not proven, although this is likely to be modulated by the genetic background of each variety.
    Plant Molecular Biology 08/2008; 68(1-2):105-17. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A molecular beacon-based real-time NASBA (QNASBA) assay for detection and identification of Listeria monocytogenes has been developed. A correlation between targeting highly accessible mRNA sequences and QNASBA efficiency and sensitivity was demonstrated. The assay targets a sequence from the mRNA transcript of the hly gene which is specific for this bacterium; and includes an internal amplification control to disclose failure of the reaction. It was fully selective and consistently detected down to 100 target molecules and 40 L. monocytogenes exponentially growing cells per reaction. In addition, it was capable of accurate quantification of target RNA molecules independently of the presence of DNA in the sample. In combination with a short RNase treatment prior to nucleic acids extraction our QNASBA specifically detected viable L. monocytogenes cells. It was successfully applied to rapid detection of this pathogen in meat and salmon products, and is therefore a useful tool for the study of L. monocytogenes in food samples. We finally discuss considerations of target secondary structure with regard to development of NASBA assays.
    Journal of Microbiological Methods 04/2007; 68(3):623-32. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a novel multiplex PCR assay for simultaneous detection of multiple transgenic events in maize. Initially, five PCR primers pairs specific to events Bt11, GA21, MON810, and NK603, and Zea mays L. (alcohol dehydrogenase) were included. The event specificity was based on amplification of transgene/plant genome flanking regions, i.e., the same targets as for validated real-time PCR assays. These short and similarly sized amplicons were selected to achieve high and similar amplification efficiency for all targets; however, its unambiguous identification was a technical challenge. We achieved a clear distinction by a novel CGE approach that combined the identification by size and color (CGE-SC). In one single step, all five targets were amplified and specifically labeled with three different fluorescent dyes. The assay was specific and displayed an LOD of 0.1% of each genetically modified organism (GMO). Therefore, it was adequate to fulfill legal thresholds established, e.g., in the European Union. Our CGE-SC based strategy in combination with an adequate labeling design has the potential to simultaneously detect higher numbers of targets. As an example, we present the detection of up to eight targets in a single run. Multiplex PCR-CGE-SC only requires a conventional sequencer device and enables automation and high throughput. In addition, it proved to be transferable to a different laboratory. The number of authorized GMO events is rapidly growing; and the acreage of genetically modified (GM) varieties cultivated and commercialized worldwide is rapidly increasing. In this context, our multiplex PCR-CGE-SC can be suitable for screening GM contents in food.
    Electrophoresis 11/2006; 27(19):3879-88. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parallel clamps can interact in a sequence-specific manner with homopyrimidine DNA and RNA oligonucleotides to form triplexes. For longer nucleic acids, we have previously demonstrated the inhibitory effect of DNA-target secondary structures on triplex formation. We further designed a modification of these molecules-that is, tail-clamps formed by addition of a tail sequence to the parallel clamp-and proved efficient binding of the molecules with structured single-stranded DNA targets. Here we explore the possible application of the tail-clamp strategy for triplex formation with RNA targets, which are typically found as strongly folded single-stranded molecules. Efficient and specific binding of a tail-clamp designed to form a parallel triplex with Listeria innocua iap mRNA sequences has been verified by UV melting curves and triplex affinity capture techniques. Furthermore, we show for the first time the formation of stable complexes of mRNA with tail-clamps not only under acidic but also under neutral and slightly basic pH conditions. These results signify a further step towards the possible applications of triplexes with mRNA molecules; research, analytical, and therapeutic uses can be envisaged. As an example, our tail-clamp-based triplex affinity capture assay allowed the specific capture and recovery of iap mRNA molecules from an L. innocua total RNA solution with 45 % yield.
    ChemBioChem 08/2006; 7(7):1039-47. · 3.74 Impact Factor