Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

 

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is now becoming the big issue in world food market. Many people concern about the effect of transgenic plant (GMO plant) to environment and health condition. Since plant is the main material for food supplies, laboratory should be able to accurately test not only on plant tissue but also on various processed food products from GMO plant materials.

Many countries require GMO testing document for importing food or agricultural products. In European community, they allow one percent of GMO contamination in the product for labeling as non-GMO products. In Japan, five percent of GMO contamination is allowed for labeling as non-GMO products.

Basically, trasgenic plant is produced by transferring the desirable genes into plant cell or tissue and developed into whole plant. Prior to transfer desirable genes into plant cells, generally, the gene was constructed with four different parts; the selectable genes, the promoter, the transgene(desirable gene),and the terminator region. Therefore, these four different parts can be tested in transgenic plants. There are many selectable genes have been used for transgenic plants. One promoter from Cauliflower Mosaic virus(CaMV35S) is the most commonly used for GMO construction. The transgenes can originate from bacteria, virus or plant gene itself. The terminator region is from bacteria and generally included into the construction.

Polymerase Chain Reaction(PCR) is a major technique used for GMO analysis. PCR technique is very sensitive which can detect a trace of GMO contamination in various types of samples.

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