Standard Article

Genetically Modified Organisms Detection by Analytical and Spectroscopical Methods


  1. Askild L. Holck

Published Online: 15 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9248

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Holck, A. L. 2012. Genetically Modified Organisms Detection by Analytical and Spectroscopical Methods. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Nofima AS, Department of Microbiology, Osloveien, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUN 2012


Genetically modified plants (GMPs) are grown on 10% of the world's fields and the area is continuously increasing. GMPs are subject to extensive regulations due to public health and environmental concerns. Legislation in the European Union requires labeling of food and feed containing authorized GMP above 0.9%. Other countries have different thresholds. European Union has a zero tolerance for unauthorized materials, which have not undergone a risk assessment. Analytical methods play a central role in enforcing legislation. A large number of methods for identification of genetic modification based on DNA detection has been developed. Detection relies often on quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. The increasing number of GMP entering the market spurs development of both qualitative and quantitative multiplex methods. Qualitative multiplex PCR is usually performed with several primer pairs, detecting one target each. To increase multiplexing and obtain quantitative results, ligation-mediated PCR has been employed. PCR products are often detected by capillary electrophoresis (CE) or by hybridization to microarrays. In addition, other non-PCR-based methods exist. Identification of unknown samples is often a two-step process. First, commonly used GM (genetically modified) elements are detected, and second, specific GM events are determined based on the results from the first analysis. Immunological detection methods also exist for separating GMP and non-GMP grain lots at farm and elevator level.