Identification of unknown genetically modified material admixed in conventional cotton seed and development of an event-specific detection method
Entering the second decade of commercialization of biotech crops, the global area cultivated with transgenic plants constantly expands and national legislations in many countries, particularly in the European Union, require identification and labeling of genetically modified material in food and feed. We describe here a procedure for characterizing transgenic material of unknown origin present in conventional seed lots using a genome walking strategy for isolation and characterization of the junction between the inserted transgene construct and the host plant genomic DNA. The procedure was applied to transgenic cotton detected as adventitious or technically unavoidable presence in a conventional commercial cultivar. The structure of the isolated region revealed that the transgenic material derived from Monsanto’s event 1445 transgenic cotton. Due to the random incorporation of the transgene into the host plant’s genome, the sequence of the junction region obtained using the genome walking strategy, provided the means to develop an event-specific identification method without prior knowledge for the nature of the transformation event. Thus, we documented a methodology for developing an event-specific detection protocol even without prior knowledge of the genetic modification event.