ELISA GMO Testing of Seed, Grain, Feed and Food
How to initiate an ELISA GMO Test
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About ELISA GMO Testing of Seed, Grain, Feed and Food
During the past couple of decades, molecular methods have been developed to clone genes and transform or transfer them into living organisms, including plants and animals resulting in what we commonly call Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), or Genetically Enhanced Organisms (GEO's).
In plants, particular genes have been identified, cloned and transferred into particular parental lines that have then been used as gene donors or carriers in backcross breeding programs. New inbred lines or parental lines often referred to as Genetically Modified Lines (GML) are then used in the development and production of Genetically Enhanced Hybrids (GEH) or Genetically Enhanced Products (GEP) that are then purchased by farmers and used for production of grain or plants for use in animal or human feed or food.
Thus, a processed food manufacturer wants to demonstrate that a food product does or does not contain GMO such as Starlink (Bt) protein in corn or the Roundup (RR) transgene in corn or soybeans. An organic farmer wants to provide evidence that the seed being sold to him or the grain that he is producing and marketing has not been genetically engineered. A breeder wants to verify that a seed or an animal contains the intended genetic modification(s) that will result in a value-added product. A researcher wants to profile and identify a newly developed line for protection purposes. A seed company wants to ensure that it is producing and marketing pure inbred or hybrid seed. A fish hatchery wants to verify that its salmon or trout are free of Myxobolus cerebralis which causes whirling disease. A rancher wants to verify parent/offspring relationships of his animals. What do all of these have in common? They can all be satisfied with molecular genetic screening performed by Biogenetic Services, Inc. using either protein or DNA based technology.
At the present time, there are essentially two laboratory methods being used to verify the presence of GMO/GEO in seeds, plants, food ingredients, finished food products, and other commercial commodities or products important to agriculture production and marketing.
ELISA protein antibody tests are being used primarily to help farmers and elevators separate their GMO grain lots from non-GMO grain lots. Protein strip tests and ELISA tests are preferred for these types of applications because they allow relatively rapid turnaround times, and they require a relatively small investment in equipment and personnel. However, they do have some disadvantages that tend to limit their use. For example, ELISA or strip assays are limited to protein of specific events (e.g. Bt or RR) which often times are not readily available. Thus, strip tests and ELISA tests are not useful for detecting "any GMO" in a commodity or product.
DNA tests using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technology are also used to make decisions concerning storage or separating grain lots, but more often are used for breeding, production and marketing decisions involving seed, grain, food ingredients, and finished food products. DNA/PCR methods are more sensitive, accurate, and robust and are generally considered to be the preferred method for detecting "any GMO." As long as appropriate protocols, samples, and sample sizes are used, false positive or false negative results are extremely rare events.
A major advantage of PCR based methods of detection is that you can assay for "any GMO" using appropriate PCR primers to obtain precise quantification (%) of GMO in non-GMO samples. GMO in a nonGMO seed sample can be quantified in two ways. First, it is possible to assay individual seeds of a sample (e.g. 500 or 1,000, etc. individual seeds) to determine precisely the number or proportion (%) of GMO seeds in the sample. It is also possible to determine the % of GMO in a bulk seed or grain (ground into powder) sample (e.g. 1000 or more kernels per sample) or in a bulked food (or ingredient) sample (e.g. flour, meal, tofu, etc.) using florometric methods such as Quantification PCR.
BGS currently provides GMO/GEO testing services using ELISA protein or DNA/PCR testing methods including Quantification PCR. The specific type of test used depends on the type of sample provided and upon our customer wants.
BGS provides GMO testing services worldwide.
Our objective is to always recommend or use the best test possible for any given situation.
ELISA Tests for Specific Events Currently Available
Antibody Strip Tests for Specific Events
Other ELISA Tests
Proficiency and Validation
Biogenetic Services, Inc. routinely participates in proficiency and validation tests conducted by USDA/GIPSA, USDA/APHIS, ISTA, AOCS, and several private companies.
Warranty and Liability Limitations
All analyses reported by Biogenetic Services, Inc. are based on a representative sample provided by our customers. Therefore, the results provided are representative only of the sample analyzed at a particular point in time. Biogenetic Services, Inc. makes no warranties, expressed or implied including warranty of ability to market a commodity or product based on analytical results provided by BGS. Liability for damage for any cause, including breach of contract or agreement (including estimated turnaround time), breach of warranty and negligence with respect to a test result is limited to a refund of the price of testing the sample. This remedy is exclusive and in no event shall BGS or any of its employees be held liable for any incidental or consequential damages including loss of sale or profits by our customers or their clients.
To obtain further information about our molecular genetic screening, diagnostics, and GMO / GEP / Transgenic testing and Human Identity Genetics testing services and prices, contact:
Biogenetic Services, Inc. - 1321 6th Street - Brookings, South Dakota 57006