Researchers Propose Framework for Classifying GMOs and Genome-edited OrganismsFebruary 2, 2022
Experts at Hokkaido University, Japan presented a framework that can be used to differentiate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from genome-edited organisms, taking into account both technical and socio-ethical considerations. Their paper is published in Trends in Biotechnology.
Depending on the technique used to edit the genome, an organism may have foreign DNA or none at all. In the proposed framework, if there is no foreign DNA involved, the resulting product can be considered as non-GMO. In cases wherein the reagents or culture medium may have foreign DNA, then the resulting product must be tested for the presence of foreign DNA. Locations in the genome where the foreign DNA is likely to be integrated will be identified then these areas will be analyzed through several assays including target DNA sequencing, whole genome sequencing, and genomic Southern blots. If the presence of foreign DNA is confirmed, then the product will be considered a GMO.
According to the authors, having a clear framework will enhance the reliability of the relevant regulations, especially in countries with existing biosafety protocols.
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