Recent Developments in DNA-Based Screening Approaches for Detection of GMO’s

Timothy Wilkesa, Gavin Nixona and Malcolm Burnsa,b

a Science and Innovation, LGC Ltd, Teddington
b Corresponding author -


Quantitative PCR remains the current method of choice for enforcement laboratories for GMO screening and identification. The number of new EU unauthorised and authorised GM events continues to increase on a yearly basis providing a continuing challenge for screening approaches to keep pace. Several new and innovative DNA-based approaches for GMO detection have recently been developed including PCR and amplification-based approaches, microarrays, micro-fluidic bead-based multiplex assays, digital PCR and DNA sequencing. In the case of existing, fully characterised GMO’s, methods based on conventional PCR are still appropriate to rapidly detect individual GM targets. However, when the tested matrices contain GMO’s for which only partial sequence data is available or known then approaches which rely on DNA sequencing of targeted or enriched libraries may be the only effective way forward. Single point mutations, such as those introduced through synthetic biology or new plant breeding techniques (e.g. by CRISPR genome editing) may only be identified through DNA sequencing and ways to target and screen efficiently for such mutations are required.

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