Screen test

Related tags Agilent Dna Polymerase chain reaction Agilent technologies

Agilent Technologies has developed a high-resolution method for
detecting genetically modified (GM) content in food products. The
company says that researchers can use this method to rapidly screen
samples before running the expensive and time-consuming analyses
required to quantify GM content.

The new product has been launched at a time when the debate surrounding GMOs is raging. There is still a great deal of controversy over how food products that contain GM ingredients should be regulated, labelled and detected, and consumer concern about the use of GM organisms in food is high, particularly in Europe.

Agilent says that DNA analysis is currently the most effective analytical approach for detecting GM ingredients in a wide range of food, from raw to highly processed. Real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is the most widely accepted method for quantifying GM DNA. However, this method is expensive and time consuming, requiring assay calibration for each sample lot and multiple replicates of each unknown compound. Most laboratories, therefore, conduct a generic GM content screen of samples before performing a complete quantitative analysis.

The traditional method for testing these samples uses gel electrophoresis, which, says Agilent, is clumsy and less than optimal for screening multiplex PCR products. When gel electrophoresis is optimised for rapid screening, only a marginal separation of multiple analytes is achieved. For GM screening, the Agilent 2100 bioanalyser provides several advantages over gel electrophoresis in terms of resolution, convenience and speed of analysis.

In this new method, Agilent scientists used an Agilent 2100 bioanalyser with DNA 500 LabChip to resolve and detect multiplex PCR products corresponding to GM DNA segments in corn and soybeans. The multiplex products were produced using Promega's Biosmart Allin 1.0 GMO Screening System, a nested multiplex PCR assay. Resolution and sensitivity were sufficient to identify all the multiplex PCR targets and to differentiate these targets from PCR artifacts.

Agilent has released an application note "Nested Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction for the Determination of DNA from Genetically Modified Corn and Soybeans Using the Agilent 2100 Bioanalyser,"​ to provide consumers and manufacturers with further information on this innovation. The publication is available on Agilent's website​. Agilent Technologies is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 29,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003.

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