MOLECULAR DIAGNOSTICS/GENOMICS: Easy bioluminescence approach detects genetically modified crop traces at high sensitivity

Genetically modified (GM) crops are increasingly the subject of concern among consumers—and those serving consumer needs. Now a pair of technologies—a bioluminescent real-time reporter and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)—has proven able, in combination, to identify products of genetic modification at low concentration. New research shows that the molecular diagnostics approach is able to recognize 0.1% GM contamination of corn, far below the European Union's current limit of 0.9%.1

GM crops are used not only as food, but also to produce proteins such as collagen in the pharmaceutical industry. The safety of these crops is much debated, however, and concern persists about whether man-made transgenes might contaminate wild populations and produce herbicide-resistant weeds. With its ability to deploy both in the field and in processing chains, the new approach promises to help shed light.

Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and fluorescence-based determination of amplification is the standard method for assessing the GM content of a crop, but the approach involves exacting extraction procedures, temperature cycling, and complex optics. To overcome these limitations, researchers from Lumora Ltd. (Ely, England) assessed whether they could use a relatively simple approach: LAMP to amplify DNA at a constant temperature and bioluminescent output produced in real time (BART) to identify GM-specific DNA in real time.

Besides the ability of the LAMP-BART combination to detect as little as 0.1% GM contamination, the approach proved more tolerant of contaminating polysaccharides, meaning that the DNA cleanup process did not need to be as thorough. According to Guy Kiddle of Lumora, who led the research, "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 crops."

1. G. Kiddle et al., BMC Biotechnol., 12, 15 (2012).

More BioOptics World Current Issue Articles
More BioOptics World Archives Issue Articles

Get All the BioOptics World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to BioOptics World Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now
Related Articles

New bioimaging technique offers clear view of nervous system

Scientists at Ludwig-Maximilians University have developed a technique for turning the body of a deceased rodent entirely transparent, revealing the central nervous system in unprecedented clarity....

Fluorescent jellyfish proteins light up unconventional laser

Safer lasers to map your cells could soon be in the offing -- all thanks to the humble jellyfish. Conventional lasers, like the pointer you might use to entertain your cat, produce light by emittin...

Fluorescence microscopy helps provide new insight into how cancer cells metastasize

By using fluorescence microscopy, scientists have discovered an alternate theory on how some cancer cells metastasize.

In vivo imaging method visualizes bone-resorbing cell function in real time

In vivo imaging can visualize sites where osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells) were in the process of resorbing bone.

BLOGS

Neuro15 exhibitors meet exacting demands: Part 2

Increasingly, neuroscientists are working with researchers in disciplines such as chemistry and p...

Why be free?

A successful career contributed to keeping OpticalRayTracer—an optical design software program—fr...

LASER Munich 2015 is bio-bent

LASER World of Photonics 2015 included the European Conferences on Biomedical Optics among its si...

White Papers

Understanding Optical Filters

Optical filters can be used to attenuate or enhance an image, transmit or reflect specific wavele...

How can I find the right digital camera for my microscopy application?

Nowadays, image processing is found in a wide range of optical microscopy applications. Examples ...

CONNECT WITH US

            

Twitter- BioOptics World

Copyright © 2007-2016. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS