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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 392872, 22 pages
Review Article

Current and New Approaches in GMO Detection: Challenges and Solutions

1Platform of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (PBB) and Biosafety and Biotechnology Unit (SBB), Scientific Institute of Public Health (WIV-ISP), J. Wytsmanstraat 14, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
2Technology and Food Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 115, Bus 1, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
3Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, Ottergemsesteenweg 460, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
4Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Sciences, Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, 9052 Ghent, Belgium

Received 17 July 2015; Accepted 7 September 2015

Academic Editor: Yiannis Kourkoutas

Copyright © 2015 Marie-Alice Fraiture et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In many countries, genetically modified organisms (GMO) legislations have been established in order to guarantee the traceability of food/feed products on the market and to protect the consumer freedom of choice. Therefore, several GMO detection strategies, mainly based on DNA, have been developed to implement these legislations. Due to its numerous advantages, the quantitative PCR (qPCR) is the method of choice for the enforcement laboratories in GMO routine analysis. However, given the increasing number and diversity of GMO developed and put on the market around the world, some technical hurdles could be encountered with the qPCR technology, mainly owing to its inherent properties. To address these challenges, alternative GMO detection methods have been developed, allowing faster detections of single GM target (e.g., loop-mediated isothermal amplification), simultaneous detections of multiple GM targets (e.g., PCR capillary gel electrophoresis, microarray, and Luminex), more accurate quantification of GM targets (e.g., digital PCR), or characterization of partially known (e.g., DNA walking and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)) or unknown (e.g., NGS) GMO. The benefits and drawbacks of these methods are discussed in this review.