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Past activities 2010 - 2012

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Theme 4: Experiences detecting transgenes in wild relatives [#3187]
One of the suggested topics for discussion was for participants to share experiences and challenges with the detection of transgenes and/or their proteins in wild relatives. It was pointed out that this is a theme that the environmental authorities need to consider because it sometimes presents difficulties in detection. We encourage participants to post information on their experiences and any challenges with this issue. Some aspects to consider include:

    * When to seek to detect whether transgenes have introgressed into wild relatives;
    * Different approaches to detecting transgenes in wild relatives depending on the native biodiversity of an area (e.g. centre of origin, the presence of closely-related wild relatives to the living modified organism);
    * How to conduct sampling in the field;
    * How to adapt DNA- and protein-based tests commonly used for crops to wild relatives;
    * How to report results.
posted on 2012-04-23 14:01 UTC by Ms. Kathryn Garforth, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Detection in relatives [#3195]
Posted on behalf of Carolina Villafañe Palau:

Dear colleagues

One of the major concerns about the biosafety in the environment is the geneflow from LMO's to its wild relatives either in plants, animals or microorganisms. In the specific case of plants, I have discussed with some researchers, who have detected the protein in a non GM plant (crop relatives) by genecheck or Elisa methods, but when they go to confirm by PCR they can't detect the transgene or viceversa.

For the first situation, we consider the possibility that when the gene flow occurs, the gene is truncated by the recombination process and possibly it inserts in another place of the genome, where a promoter of another gene makes the transgene functional. Because of this, detection by PCR is not possible with the original promoters primers.

For the second situation, is possible by gene silencing due to aspects related to expression and stability of a gene when species hybridize, because of the gene expression is modulated by epigenetic interactions, promoters, enhancers and cromatine structure, between others.

The other questions are:  which would be the strategy to detect the transgene?, how determine that the hybrid is transgenic when the transgene is present but is not functional?, in the event that the transgene can be detected by designing new primers or probes, are this results valid when we are looking for standardize methods of detection?.

Carolina Villafañe Palau
Laboratorio Central Interinstitucional de Detección y Monitoreo de OGM
Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander von Humboldt
posted on 2012-04-30 13:31 UTC by Ms. Kathryn Garforth, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity