, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 252-258

A Qualitative Approach for the Assessment of the Genetic Stability of the MON 810 Trait in Commercial Seed Maize Varieties

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Abstract

Maize MON 810 is one of the European Union’s (EU) authorized genetically modified organisms (GMO) for placing on the food and feed market. The total number of MON 810 varieties registered in the European Common Catalogue of varieties of agricultural plant species has almost tripled since 2005. One of the requirements described in EU legislation, namely the genetic stability of GM seed varieties, was thus assessed by analyzing the intactness of the entire MON 810 integration and its genotypic stability in commercial varieties available on the market for at least the last 2 years. A combined strategy using qualitative analytical methods made possible to determine the presence/absence of the individual genetic elements and of the whole GM construct. The restriction fragment length polymorphism patterns obtained from amplified whole constructs by long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were compared side by side. CryIA(b) protein expression levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Twenty-four out of the 26 analyzed varieties met the expected stability features. One variety gave negative results in all assays, and one variety contained the necessary genetic elements for expressing CryIA(b) protein although giving negative results for the long PCR product. To our knowledge, this study is the first post-marketing stability analysis performed on GM commercial seed varieties.