July 19, 2019  |  

An integrated strategy combining DNA walking and NGS to detect GMOs.

Recently, we developed a DNA walking system for the detection and characterization of a broad spectrum of GMOs in routine analysis of food/feed matrices. Here, we present a new version with improved throughput and sensitivity by coupling the DNA walking system to Pacific Bioscience® Next-generation sequencing technology. The performance of the new strategy was thoroughly assessed through several assays. First, we tested its detection and identification capability on grains with high or low GMO content. Second, the potential impacts of food processing were investigated using rice noodle samples. Finally, GMO mixtures and a real-life sample were analyzed to illustrate the applicability of the proposed strategy in routine GMO analysis. In all tested samples, the presence of multiple GMOs was unambiguously proven by the characterization of transgene flanking regions and the combinations of elements that are typical for transgene constructs. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

July 19, 2019  |  

Re-sequencing transgenic plants revealed rearrangements at T-DNA inserts, and integration of a short T-DNA fragment, but no increase of small mutations elsewhere.

Transformation resulted in deletions and translocations at T-DNA inserts, but not in genome-wide small mutations. A tiny T-DNA splinter was detected that probably would remain undetected by conventional techniques. We investigated to which extent Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation is mutagenic, on top of inserting T-DNA. To prevent mutations due to in vitro propagation, we applied floral dip transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana. We re-sequenced the genomes of five primary transformants, and compared these to genomic sequences derived from a pool of four wild-type plants. By genome-wide comparisons, we identified ten small mutations in the genomes of the five transgenic plants, not correlated to the positions or number of T-DNA inserts. This mutation frequency is within the range of spontaneous mutations occurring during seed propagation in A. thaliana, as determined earlier. In addition, we detected small as well as large deletions specifically at the T-DNA insert sites. Furthermore, we detected partial T-DNA inserts, one of these a tiny 50-bp fragment originating from a central part of the T-DNA construct used, inserted into the plant genome without flanking other T-DNA. Because of its small size, we named this fragment a T-DNA splinter. As far as we know this is the first report of such a small T-DNA fragment insert in absence of any T-DNA border sequence. Finally, we found evidence for translocations from other chromosomes, flanking T-DNA inserts. In this study, we showed that next-generation sequencing (NGS) is a highly sensitive approach to detect T-DNA inserts in transgenic plants.

July 19, 2019  |  

ALF: a strategy for identification of unauthorized GMOs in complex mixtures by a GW-NGS method and dedicated bioinformatics analysis.

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.

July 7, 2019  |  

Detecting authorized and unauthorized genetically modified organisms containing vip3A by real-time PCR and next-generation sequencing.

The growing number of biotech crops with novel genetic elements increasingly complicates the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food and feed samples using conventional screening methods. Unauthorized GMOs (UGMOs) in food and feed are currently identified through combining GMO element screening with sequencing the DNA flanking these elements. In this study, a specific and sensitive qPCR assay was developed for vip3A element detection based on the vip3Aa20 coding sequences of the recently marketed MIR162 maize and COT102 cotton. Furthermore, SiteFinding-PCR in combination with Sanger, Illumina or Pacific BioSciences (PacBio) sequencing was performed targeting the flanking DNA of the vip3Aa20 element in MIR162. De novo assembly and Basic Local Alignment Search Tool searches were used to mimic UGMO identification. PacBio data resulted in relatively long contigs in the upstream (1,326 nucleotides (nt); 95 % identity) and downstream (1,135 nt; 92 % identity) regions, whereas Illumina data resulted in two smaller contigs of 858 and 1,038 nt with higher sequence identity (>99 % identity). Both approaches outperformed Sanger sequencing, underlining the potential for next-generation sequencing in UGMO identification.

July 7, 2019  |  

Molecular approaches for high throughput detection and quantification of genetically modified crops: A review.

As long as the genetically modified crops are gaining attention globally, their proper approval and commercialization need accurate and reliable diagnostic methods for the transgenic content. These diagnostic techniques are mainly divided into two major groups, i.e., identification of transgenic (1) DNA and (2) proteins from GMOs and their products. Conventional methods such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were routinely employed for DNA and protein based quantification respectively. Although, these Techniques (PCR and ELISA) are considered as significantly convenient and productive, but there is need for more advance technologies that allow for high throughput detection and the quantification of GM event as the production of more complex GMO is increasing day by day. Therefore, recent approaches like microarray, capillary gel electrophoresis, digital PCR and next generation sequencing are more promising due to their accuracy and precise detection of transgenic contents. The present article is a brief comparative study of all such detection techniques on the basis of their advent, feasibility, accuracy, and cost effectiveness. However, these emerging technologies have a lot to do with detection of a specific event, contamination of different events and determination of fusion as well as stacked gene protein are the critical issues to be addressed in future.

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