New rapid diagnostic kits ready for launch in India

New DNA detection equipment is poised to enter the Indian market. The national government commissioned these tools as a local response to increasing global trade in food and feed containing, or derived from, genetically modified (GM) organisms.

GM cotton
GM cotton
Aiming at the traits produced by such modification, the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) has developed a set of diagnostic kits. Such tools are intended for use in control procedures for authorised crops, in the administration of internationally-standard labelling and in the negotiation of legal conflicts. Tests are available for five main crops - cotton, cauliflower, tomato, mustard and a regional variety of eggplant known as brinjal.

The kits employ the (PCR) detection method to find genes conferring insect resistence (cry1Ac and cry2Ab genes), male sterility (barnase/ barstar genes) and tolerance of drought and salinity (osmotin gene).

The detector sets now are ready for commercial introduction. Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences, Mr Kapil Sibal, has underscored the administrative applications of such kits and described their potential use in customer information.