Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Testing

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Testing Inquiry

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) refer to the crops whose genetic material has been modified using genetic engineering techniques. GMOs commonly have many advantageous traits such as higher yield, stronger tolerance to drought and pests, as well as higher vitamin and mineral contents. Some GMO crops are also free of allergenic properties, making them safer for consumption. However, the unknown risks for transgenic foods are a major concern for consumers. Therefore, GMOs testing is necessary for all producers, and there are strict regulatory requirements for the production, import, and export of GMO foods (Figure 1).

Figure 1. GMOs testing for food labeling and regulatory  requirements.
Figure 1. GMOs testing for food labeling and regulatory requirements.

Lifeasible is a global market leader in GMOs food testing. Our state-of-the-art laboratories are accredited according to ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 9001. Our experienced technical staffs offer a complete GMOs testing portfolio which encompasses both element and event-specific assays.

  • Element-specific assay. This assay is based on the detection of elements that are primarily associated with GMO, for example, p35S, pFMV, tNOS, bar, CTP2/CP4-EPSP, pat, nptII, Cry1A, Cry 2Ab2, Cry34/35, etc.
  • Event-specific assay. This assay is based on the detection of the unique junctions between the host genome and the transgenic cassette. A number of target genes from a variety of plant species can be detected, including corn GA21, corn bt11, corn MON863, corn TC1507, soybean A2704-12, soybean MON89788, cotton GHB119, oilseed rape Ms8, rice LLRICE62, potato EH92-527-1, sugar beet H7-1, etc.

At lifeasible, we provide multiple robust, reliable and efficient approaches for GMOs detection (Figure 2), including:

  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR. This is a DNA-based method where a pair primers specific to the sequence of promoter, terminator, or marker gene are applied. The PCR approach allows detection of GMOs qualitatively and quantitatively.
  • Immunological analysis. This is a protein-based method which utilizes antibodies for the detection of proteins (e.g., Cry1Ac, Cry2A, Cry1Ab, Cry1F, etc.) that are correlated with GMOs. Currently, there are two types of GMO tests that use this method: the strip test and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. They are both suitable for measuring GMO proteins in unprocessed material such as seed, grain, or leaves. And the strip test is a rapid method which works the best for field testing.

Except for the commonly used methods aforementioned, we have also developed a list of innovative methods for GMOs testing. These methods allow faster detections of single GM target (e.g., loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)), simultaneous detections of multiple GM targets (e.g., PCR capillary gel electrophoresis (CEG), microarray, and Luminex), more accurate quantification of GM targets (e.g., digital PCR (dPCR)), or characterization of partially known (e.g., DNA walking and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)) or unknown (e.g., NGS) GMOs.

Figure 2. The techniques  used for GMOs testing (Fraiture <em>et al.</em>, 2015).
Figure 2. The techniques used for GMOs testing (Fraiture et al., 2015).

With years of experience in plant breeding and genetics, the experts at lifeasible will provide you with tailored solutions for your requests, and ensure the GMO products on the market meet strict regulatory and consumer demands. Welcome to contact us for questions, inquiries or technical consultations.


  1. Fraiture M. A.; et al. Current and new approaches in GMO detection: challenges and solutions. Biomed Res Int. 2015, 2015(4): 392872.
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