Genetically Modified Maize

Can genetically modified maize Norwegian researchers have developed better tools for identifying genetically modified components (GMO) in food.

New method identifies both the types of genetically modified corn found in food and the exact amount of GMO.

- We have developed a method that is simple to use. It identifies both the types of genetically modified corn found in food and the exact amount of GMOs, says senior Askild Holck in Nofima.

As globalization increases and food products imported from the growing number of regions, increasing the need for accurate knowledge of the components of different foods contain.

This is especially relevant to GMOs, because different regions have very different standpoint.

While the EU and much of Europe is very restrictive and consumers in these countries are skeptical, the United States, Latin America, India, China and Southeast Asia allowed the use of GMOs and consumers in these regions are not skeptical.

Today is grown genetically modified plants in ten percent of all arable land, which is 148 million hectares. Soybeans, corn, canola and cotton make up most of the genetically modified plants.

Identifies new varieties

While the use of GMOs increases, the number of GMO varieties. This places stringent requirements analysis tools, which must also capture the new variations.

- The method we have developed is a so-called PCR method to detect genetically modified maize. PCR is the most common method for diagnosing DNA and PCR enzyme used to make copies of previous threads.

PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction (Polymerase chain reaction, in Norwegian called PKR). It is a method for making many copies of a specific DNA sequence without the use of living organisms.

- Our method picks up five new varieties and is based on multiplying the DNA that is present in foods. It is very sensitive and can detect down to a few molecules, says Holck.

The method employs the researchers a known quantity of molecules that resemble molecules from a GMO. These are called kompetitorer, and multiply along with DNA from GMO in the sample.

The relative size of the signals for GMO-one and kompetitorene makes it possible to calculate the amount of each GMO in the sample.

Genetically Modified Maize
From qualitative to quantitative

EU, and for that matter, has the strictest GMO requirements. Food that contains more than 0.9 percent GMOs to be labeled specifically. Thus, the need for precise measurement large, while it is very difficult to make accurate quantitative measurements of molecules that can only exist in few copies.

The method scientists use gives good quantitative results because GMO molecules and kompetitormolekylene are almost identical and thus behaves like during propagation. Kompetitormolekylene acts simultaneously as a control on the propagation has gone as it should.

The system is designed so that all kompetitorene comes from the same molecule and thus the sample in exactly the same number. This simplifies both the calibration of the method and treatment results. The method can thus be thought used in commercial assays.

- One of the most interesting method is that it can be easily transferred to any qualitative PCR and make it quantitative, because we can now count the number of molecules, says Holck.