Crop Biotech Update

Effect of High Temperature and Pressure on Transgene Content of Biotech Maize

August 7, 2013

A study was conducted to determine how technological processing methods such as high temperature, elevated pressure and low pH may affect DNA degradation and quantification in the transgene content of the plant matrix using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Zuzana Godalova and colleagues at the Food Research Institute in Slovak Republic processed biotech maize MON810 under various technological conditions and collected data at different time intervals.

Results showed that DNA degradation was affected by the processing used. For instance, the maize containing 4.2% of the transgene before processing appeared to be as low as 3.0% (100°C) and 1.9% (121°C, 0.1 MPa) after processing. The 2.1% amount of the transgene also decreased to 1.0% at 100°C and 0.6%. at 121°C, 0.1 MPa. On the other hand, moderate processing conditions showed no effect on DNA quantification. According to the researchers, the decrease in transgenic content after harsh processing of samples can be attributed to uneven copy numbers of involved genes.

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