Understanding the process and testing Genetically Modified foods and Genetically Modified genes using PCR and Agarose Gel Electrophoresis
The first genetically modified food was introduced in 1995, followed by the successful development and commercial release of maize, soyabeans,cotton,potatoes,papaya,alfalfa,aquash,and sugar beets with specific new genetic traits. The future is very promising for GM technologies to meet the future global needs for food feed and fiber in a sustainable and responsible way. GM crops are only one part of the solution. To meet the targeted yields, nutritional quality, and sustainable production, we need all of the tools at our disposal including conventional and organic food production systems.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms, such as plants, animals and microorganisms whose genetic characteristics have been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. Food which contain, consist of or are produced from GMOs are called genetically modified (GM) food. Some of the foods that are available in the market include cotton, soybean, canola, potatoes, eggplant, strawberries, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, cantaloupe, carrots etc. GM products which are currently in the pipeline include medicines and vaccines, foods and food ingredients, feeds and fibres. Locating genes for important traits, such as those conferring insect resistance or desired nutrients-is one of the most limiting steps in the process.
Activity 1 : DNA Extraction from various food samples
Materials :
• Insta gene matrix mix
• Screwcap tubes
• Distilled water
• Test foods
• Non – GMO food control ( prepared by technical staff)
• Mortar and pestle
• Pipettes and pipettes tips
• Heat block set to 95 – 100 C
Extraction of DNA from the non – GMO food control was prepared by demontrators due to the sensitivity of PCR and to prevent any DNA cross contamination between GMO and non GMO foods.
Insta gene matrix was added into each of the screwcap tubes and bleached 10% mortar and pestle to avoid DNA contamination. Distilled water 2.5 mL were added in to the test food twice and 50 µL of ground slurry was added in to the screwcap tube containing 500 µL of Insta gene matrix and labelled with the first food sample and placed on ice. All tubes shaked well by flicking for 1 min and placed in 95C heat block for 5 min. Later the tubes placed in a centrifuge and spin at 13000 rpm for 10 min and again placed tubes on ice until ready for PCR.