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Allergenicity and toxicity evaluation of the PAT protein expressed in herbicide-tolerant genetically modified Zoysia japonica
J Plant Biotechnol 2020;47:316-323
Published online December 31, 2020
© 2020 The Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology.

Hye-Rin Jeong ・Hyeon-Jin Sun ・Ji-Nam Kang ・Hong-Gyu Kang ・Hyo-Yeon Lee

Department of Biotechnology, Jeju National University, Jeju, 63243, Korea
Subtropical Horticulture Research Institute, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Korea
Department of Molecular Biotechnology, College of Applied Life Sciences, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Korea
Correspondence to: e-mail:,
Received December 2, 2020; Revised December 7, 2020; Accepted December 7, 2020.
cc This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This study aimed to evaluate the potential allergenicity and oral toxicity of the phosphinothricin acetyltransferase (PAT) protein expressed in Zoysia japonica, a herbicide-tolerant genetically modified (GM) zoysiagrass. In silico analysis of PAT showed no similarities with any known allergenic or toxic proteins, with <35% amino acid sequence homology with known allergens across a length of 80 amino acids and no continuous eight amino acid identity with known allergens. The PAT protein expressed in Z. japonica degraded very rapidly in the simulated gastric fluid in the presence of pepsin, and, no glycosylation of PAT was observed. The oral toxicity test revealed no mortality or toxic effect in mice following PAT administration at 4,000 mg/kg body weight. Our findings indicate that the PAT protein expressed in Zoysia japonica does not exhibit allergenic or toxic properties.
Keywords : Acute oral toxicity, Allergenicity, PAT, Herbicidetolerant GM zoysiagrass

December 2020, 47 (4)
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