Detection of the 35S promoter in transgenic maize via various isothermal amplification techniques: A practical approach

Celine Zahradnik, Claudia Kolm, Roland Martzy, Robert L. Mach, Rudolf Krska, Andreas H. Farnleitner, Kurt Brunner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

25 Citations (Scopus)


In 2003 the European Commission introduced a 0.9 % threshold for food and feed products containing genetically modified organism (GMO)-derived components. For commodities containing GMO contents higher than this threshold, labelling is mandatory. To provide a DNA-based rapid and simple detection method suitable for high-throughput screening of GMOs, several isothermal amplification approaches for the 35S promoter were tested: strand displacement amplification, nicking-enzyme amplification reaction, rolling circle amplification, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and helicase-dependent amplification (HDA). The assays developed were tested for specificity in order to distinguish between samples containing genetically modified (GM) maize and non-GM maize. For those assays capable of this discrimination, tests were performed to determine the lower limit of detection. A false-negative rate was determined to rule out whether GMO-positive samples were incorrectly classified as GMO-negative. A robustness test was performed to show reliable detection independent from the instrument used for amplification. The analysis of three GM maize lines showed that only LAMP and HDA were able to differentiate between the GMOs MON810, NK603, and Bt11 and non-GM maize. Furthermore, with the HDA assay it was possible to realize a detection limit as low as 0.5 %. A false-negative rate of only 5% for 1% GM maize for all three maize lines shows that HDA has the potential to be used as an alternative strategy for the detection of transgenic maize. All results obtained with the LAMP and HDA assays were compared with the results obtained with a previously reported real-time PCR assay for the 35S promoter in transgenic maize. This study presents two new screening assays for detection of the 35S promoter in transgenic maize by applying the isothermal amplification approaches HDA and LAMP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6835-6842
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 35S promoter
  • Geneticallymodified
  • Helicase-dependent amplification
  • Isothermal amplification
  • Loop-mediated isothermal amplification
  • Maize
  • Screening
  • Transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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