Genetically Modified Foods *
|Time Required||Average (6-10 days)|
|Prerequisites||Access to a research laboratory with PCR equipment is required for this project.|
|Material Availability||Requires purchase of Bio-Rad's GMO Investigator Kit. Information about how to order from Bio-Rad can be found here.|
|Cost||Very High (over $150)|
|Safety||Adult supervision is required in the laboratory facility.|
AbstractHave your favorite foods been genetically modified? Genetically modified (GM) foods do not require labeling in the USA, and foods with less than 5% content from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be labeled "GMO free." In Europe and Asia, GM foods require labeling only if they contain more than 1% GM content. You can investigate whether your favorite food products, like corn tortilla chips, are made from genetically modified organisms using the GMO Investigator Kit from the Bio-Rad Biotechnology Explorer Program. The GMO Investigator kit uses PCR and DNA electrophoresis (shown in Figure 1, below) to test for the presence of two different GMO-associated DNA sequences: the 35S promoter of the cauliflower mosaic virus, and the terminator of the nopaline synthase gene of Agrobacterium tumefaciens. These DNA sequences are present in most (> 80%) of the GM crops that are approved for distribution worldwide. In addition, the integrity of the plant DNA extracted from food is tested by using PCR to amplify a section of the Photosystem II chloroplast gene that is common to most higher plants. (Bio-Rad, 2006)
Figure 1. Using the GMO Investigator Kit, you can perform PCR and DNA electrophoresis, which is shown here (a gel is being loaded with DNA), to test for GMO-associated DNA sequences in food products. (Photo courtesy of Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.)
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Last edit date: 2017-07-28
BibliographyBio-Rad, 2006. "Biotechnology Explorer Program," Bio-Rad Laboratories [accessed 3/25/06] http://explorer.bio-rad.com.
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