Development and validation of real-time PCR screening methods for detection of cry1A.105 and cry2Ab2 genes in genetically modified organisms.
ABSTRACT: Primers and probes were developed for the element-specific detection of cry1A.105 and cry2Ab2 genes, based on their DNA sequence as present in GM maize MON89034. Cry genes are present in many genetically modified (GM) plants and they are important targets for developing GMO element-specific detection methods. Element-specific methods can be of use to screen for the presence of GMOs in food and feed supply chains. Moreover, a combination of GMO elements may indicate the potential presence of unapproved GMOs (UGMs). Primer-probe combinations were evaluated in terms of specificity, efficiency and limit of detection. Except for specificity, the complete experiment was performed in 9 PCR runs, on 9 different days and by testing 8 DNA concentrations. The results showed a high specificity and efficiency for cry1A.105 and cry2Ab2 detection. The limit of detection was between 0.05 and 0.01 ng DNA per PCR reaction for both assays. These data confirm the applicability of these new primer-probe combinations for element detection that can contribute to the screening for GM and UGM crops in food and feed samples.
Project description:Soybean MON 87751 was developed through Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation to provide protection certain specific lepidopteran pests by the expression of the Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. The molecular characterisation data and bioinformatic analyses did not identify issues requiring assessment for food and feed safety. None of the compositional, agronomic and phenotypic differences identified between soybean MON 87751 and the conventional counterpart required further assessment. The GMO Panel did not identify safety concerns regarding the toxicity and allergenicity of the Cry1A.105 and Cry2Ab2 proteins as expressed in soybean MON 87751, and found no evidence that the genetic modification might significantly change the overall allergenicity of soybean MON 87751. The nutritional impact of soybean MON 87751-derived food and feed is expected to be the same as those derived from the conventional counterpart and non-GM commercial reference varieties. The GMO Panel concludes that soybean MON 87751, as described in this application, is nutritionally equivalent to and as safe as the conventional counterpart and the non-GM soybean reference varieties tested, and no post-market monitoring of food and feed is considered necessary. In the case of accidental release of viable soybean MON 87751 seeds into the environment, soybean MON 87751 would not raise environmental safety concerns. The post-market environmental monitoring plan and reporting intervals are in line with the intended uses of soybean MON 87751. In conclusion, soybean MON 87751, as described in this application, is as safe as its conventional counterpart and the tested non-GM soybean reference varieties with respect to potential effects on human and animal health and the environment.
Project description:The DNA target sequence is the key element in designing detection methods for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Unfortunately this information is frequently lacking, especially for unauthorized GMOs. In addition, patent sequences are generally poorly annotated, buried in complex and extensive documentation and hard to link to the corresponding GM event. Here, we present the JRC GMO-Amplicons, a database of amplicons collected by screening public nucleotide sequence databanks by in silico determination of PCR amplification with reference methods for GMO analysis. The European Union Reference Laboratory for Genetically Modified Food and Feed (EU-RL GMFF) provides these methods in the GMOMETHODS database to support enforcement of EU legislation and GM food/feed control. The JRC GMO-Amplicons database is composed of more than 240 000 amplicons, which can be easily accessed and screened through a web interface. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt at pooling and collecting publicly available sequences related to GMOs in food and feed. The JRC GMO-Amplicons supports control laboratories in the design and assessment of GMO methods, providing inter-alia in silico prediction of primers specificity and GM targets coverage. The new tool can assist the laboratories in the analysis of complex issues, such as the detection and identification of unauthorized GMOs. Notably, the JRC GMO-Amplicons database allows the retrieval and characterization of GMO-related sequences included in patents documentation. Finally, it can help annotating poorly described GM sequences and identifying new relevant GMO-related sequences in public databases. The JRC GMO-Amplicons is freely accessible through a web-based portal that is hosted on the EU-RL GMFF website. Database URL: http://gmo-crl.jrc.ec.europa.eu/jrcgmoamplicons/.
Project description:The rapid increase in the number of genetically modified (GM) varieties has led to a demand for high-throughput methods to detect genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We describe a new dynamic array-based high throughput method to simultaneously detect 48 targets in 48 samples on a Fludigm system. The test targets included species-specific genes, common screening elements, most of the Chinese-approved GM events, and several unapproved events. The 48 TaqMan assays successfully amplified products from both single-event samples and complex samples with a GMO DNA amount of 0.05?ng, and displayed high specificity. To improve the sensitivity of detection, a preamplification step for 48 pooled targets was added to enrich the amount of template before performing dynamic chip assays. This dynamic chip-based method allowed the synchronous high-throughput detection of multiple targets in multiple samples. Thus, it represents an efficient, qualitative method for GMO multi-detection.
Project description:As the amount of commercially available genetically modified organisms (GMOs) grows recent years, the diversity of target sequences for molecular detection techniques are eagerly needed. Considered as the gold standard for GMO analysis, the real-time PCR technology was optimized to produce a high-throughput GMO screening method. With this method we can detect 19 transgenic targets. The specificity of the assays was demonstrated to be 100 % by the specific amplification of DNA derived from reference material from 20 genetically modified crops and 4 non modified crops. Furthermore, most assays showed a very sensitive detection, reaching the limit of ten copies. The 19 assays are the most frequently used genetic elements present in GM crops and theoretically enable the screening of the known GMO described in Chinese markets. Easy to use, fast and cost efficient, this method approach fits the purpose of GMO testing laboratories.
Project description:In most countries, systems are in place to analyse food products for the potential presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), to enforce labelling requirements and to screen for the potential presence of unauthorised GMOs. With the growing number of GMOs on the world market, a larger diversity of methods is required for informative analyses. In this paper, the specificity of an extended screening set consisting of 32 screening methods to identify different crop species (endogenous genes) and GMO elements was verified against 59 different GMO reference materials. In addition, a cost- and time-efficient strategy for DNA isolation, screening and identification is presented. A module for semiautomated analysis of the screening results and planning of subsequent event-specific tests for identification has been developed. The Excel-based module contains information on the experimentally verified specificity of the element methods and of the EU authorisation status of the GMO events. If a detected GMO element cannot be explained by any of the events as identified in the same sample, this may indicate the presence of an unknown unauthorised GMO that may not yet have been assessed for its safety for humans, animals or the environment.
Project description:BACKGROUND: To maintain EU GMO regulations, producers of new GM crop varieties need to supply an event-specific method for the new variety. As a result methods are nowadays available for EU-authorised genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but only to a limited extent for EU-non-authorised GMOs (NAGs). In the last decade the diversity of genetically modified (GM) ingredients in food and feed has increased significantly. As a result of this increase GMO laboratories currently need to apply many different methods to establish to potential presence of NAGs in raw materials and complex derived products. RESULTS: In this paper we present an innovative method for detecting (approved) GMOs as well as the potential presence of NAGs in complex DNA samples containing different crop species. An optimised protocol has been developed for padlock probe ligation in combination with microarray detection (PPLMD) that can easily be scaled up. Linear padlock probes targeted against GMO-events, -elements and -species have been developed that can hybridise to their genomic target DNA and are visualised using microarray hybridisation.In a tenplex PPLMD experiment, different genomic targets in Roundup-Ready soya, MON1445 cotton and Bt176 maize were detected down to at least 1%. In single experiments, the targets were detected down to 0.1%, i.e. comparable to standard qPCR. CONCLUSION: Compared to currently available methods this is a significant step forward towards multiplex detection in complex raw materials and derived products. It is shown that the PPLMD approach is suitable for large-scale detection of GMOs in real-life samples and provides the possibility to detect and/or identify NAGs that would otherwise remain undetected.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Since their first commercialization, the diversity of taxa and the genetic composition of transgene sequences in genetically modified plants (GMOs) are constantly increasing. To date, the detection of GMOs and derived products is commonly performed by PCR-based methods targeting specific DNA sequences introduced into the host genome. Information available regarding the GMOs' molecular characterization is dispersed and not appropriately organized. For this reason, GMO testing is very challenging and requires more complex screening strategies and decision making schemes, demanding in return the use of efficient bioinformatics tools relying on reliable information. DESCRIPTION: The GMOseek matrix was built as a comprehensive, online open-access tabulated database which provides a reliable, comprehensive and user-friendly overview of 328 GMO events and 247 different genetic elements (status: 18/07/2013). The GMOseek matrix is aiming to facilitate GMO detection from plant origin at different phases of the analysis. It assists in selecting the targets for a screening analysis, interpreting the screening results, checking the occurrence of a screening element in a group of selected GMOs, identifying gaps in the available pool of GMO detection methods, and designing a decision tree. The GMOseek matrix is an independent database with effective functionalities in a format facilitating transferability to other platforms. Data were collected from all available sources and experimentally tested where detection methods and certified reference materials (CRMs) were available. CONCLUSIONS: The GMOseek matrix is currently a unique and very valuable tool with reliable information on GMOs from plant origin and their present genetic elements that enables further development of appropriate strategies for GMO detection. It is flexible enough to be further updated with new information and integrated in different applications and platforms.
Project description:The majority of feed products in industrialised countries contains materials derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In parallel, the number of reports of unauthorised GMOs (UGMOs) is gradually increasing. There is a lack of specific detection methods for UGMOs, due to the absence of detailed sequence information and reference materials. In this research, an adapted genome walking approach was developed, called ALF: Amplification of Linearly-enriched Fragments. Coupling of ALF to NGS aims for simultaneous detection and identification of all GMOs, including UGMOs, in one sample, in a single analysis. The ALF approach was assessed on a mixture made of DNA extracts from four reference materials, in an uneven distribution, mimicking a real life situation. The complete insert and genomic flanking regions were known for three of the included GMO events, while for MON15985 only partial sequence information was available. Combined with a known organisation of elements, this GMO served as a model for a UGMO. We successfully identified sequences matching with this organisation of elements serving as proof of principle for ALF as new UGMO detection strategy. Additionally, this study provides a first outline of an automated, web-based analysis pipeline for identification of UGMOs containing known GM elements.
Project description:The Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter (P35S) is a commonly used target for detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). There are currently 24 reported detection methods, targeting different regions of the P35S promoter. Initial assessment revealed that due to the absence of primer binding sites in the P35S sequence, 19 of the 24 reported methods failed to detect P35S in MON88913 cotton, and the other two methods could only be applied to certain GMOs. The rest three reported methods were not suitable for measurement of P35S in some testing events, because SNPs in binding sites of the primer/probe would result in abnormal amplification plots and poor linear regression parameters. In this study, we discovered a conserved region in the P35S sequence through sequencing of P35S promoters from multiple transgenic events, and developed new qualitative and quantitative detection systems targeting this conserved region. The qualitative PCR could detect the P35S promoter in 23 unique GMO events with high specificity and sensitivity. The quantitative method was suitable for measurement of P35S promoter, exhibiting good agreement between the amount of template and Ct values for each testing event. This study provides a general P35S screening method, with greater coverage than existing methods.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Prior to their release in the environment, transgenic crops are examined for their health and environmental safety. In addition, transgene expression needs to be consistent in order to express the introduced trait (e.g. insecticidal and/or herbicide tolerance). Moreover, data on expression levels for GM events are usually required for approval, but these are rarely disclosed or they are considered insufficient. On the other hand, biosafety regulators do not consider epigenetic regulation (e.g. DNA methylation, ncRNAs and histone modifications), which are broadly known to affect gene expression, within their risk assessment analyses. Here we report the results of a DNA methylation (bisulfite sequencing) and transgene transcript accumulation (RT-qPCR) analysis of four Bt-expressing single transgenic maize hybrids, under different genetic backgrounds, and a stacked transgenic hybrid expressing both insecticidal and herbicide tolerance traits. RESULTS:Our results showed differences in cytosine methylation levels in the FMV promoter and cry2Ab2 transgene of the four Bt-expressing hybrid varieties. The comparison between single and stacked hybrids under the same genetic background showed differences in the 35S promoter sequence. The results of transgene transcript accumulation levels showed differences in both cry1A.105 and cry2Ab2 transgenes among the four Bt-expressing hybrid varieties. The comparison between single and stacked hybrids showed difference for the cry2Ab2 transgene only. CONCLUSIONS:Overall, our results show differences in DNA methylation patterns in all varieties, as well as in transgene transcript accumulation levels. Although the detection of changes in DNA methylation and transgenic accumulation levels does not present a safety issue per se, it demonstrates the need for additional studies that focus on detecting possible safety implications of such changes.