Co-Extra researcher paved the way for GMO testing

In 2001, Arne Holst-Jensen published his work on a PCR detection method for a GM soy event. Today, this method is broadly applied to various GM plants, the paper is one of the most-cited in its field, and Holst-Jensen is about to develop the next generation of detection methods.

Holst-Jensen’s research article “Roundup Ready (R) soybean event-specific real-time quantitative PCR assay and estimation of the practical detection and quantification limits in GMO analyses” was published in 2001 in the Journal European Food Research and Technology. This paper was the first to describe a method representing what has since become state-of-the-art technology for quantitative GMO detection. The method detects the most widely grown GMO by far in the world, present in approximately 60 percent of the global soybean market.

Since that time, developers of GM crops must supply detection methods with every EU application for approval. Therefore, as part of the ongoing, EU-funded research project Co-Extra, his laboratory has shifted focus and now is developing advanced multiplex detection methods as well as methods for detection, identification, and characterization of unauthorized GMOs. Due to different approval procedures in different countries of the world, past experience has shown that the European market can be entered by GMOs not yet approved in the EU.

The impact of detection methods on traceability and co-existence is explained by Holst-Jensen in the Co-Extra interview “What is the future of GMO detection?” His research success is applauded in this month's edition of Essential Science Indicators, which features another interview with the Co-Extra researcher.