is important to be able to monitor genetically modified (GM) crops, not
only in the field but also during the food processing chain. New
research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal BMC Biotechnology
shows that products from genetically modified crops can be identified
at low concentration, using bioluminescent real time reporter (BART)
technology and loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). The
combination of these techniques was able to recognise 0.1% GM
contamination of maize, far below the current EU limit of 0.9%.
agriculture GM crops have been bred to improve crop yield or viability.
For example some are resistant to herbicides or viruses. They are also
used in the pharmaceutical industry to produce proteins such as
collagen. However there is a constant debate about the safety of these
crops and whether the man-made transgenes might enter the wild
population by cross-fertilization.and produce herbicide resistant weeds.
handling and sampling techniques are required to assess the GM content
of a crop. The most common technique is polymerase chain reaction (PCR),
however, this involves complex extraction procedures and rapid
thermocycling, both of which require specific equipment. To overcome
these problems researchers from Lumora Ltd. assessed whether they could
use LAMP to amplify DNA at a constant temperature and use BART to
identify GM-specific DNA in real time.
Guy Kiddle from Lumora, who led the research, explained that LAMP-BART
was able to detect as little as 0.1% GM contamination of maize, and,
compared to PCR, was more tolerant of contaminating polysaccharides,
meaning that the DNA clean-up process did not need to be as thorough. He
commented, “This method requires only basic equipment for DNA
extraction, and a constant temperature for DNA amplification and
detection. Consequently LAMP-BART provides a ‘field-ready’ solution for
monitoring GM crops and their interaction with wild plants or non-GM
Source: BioMed Central