GeneScan, Motorola to collaborate on GMO detection

by Emily Wilson
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Gene-Scan Europe AG and Clinical Micro Sensors, a business unit of Motorola, Inc., have announced a technical collaboration to develop and deliver new DNA detection tools for genetically modified crops.

The companies will use Motorola's eSensor DNA detection system, which relies on bioelectronics and uses organic molecules to form electronic circuits that can detect and quantify many different DNA targets at once.

While the eSensor platform has been shown to be effective in studies detecting panels of bacterial or viral targets, GeneScan said, the technology also allows for on-site food quality control using DNA detection techniques.

"Motorola's technology platform will help us address the growing need for flexible DNA-based systems for the detection of genetically modified organisms," said Frank-Roman Lauter, vice-president, U.S. operations, GeneScan. "The ability to offer a single test for several genetically engineered traits with the potential for on-site analyses using future generations of the technology will significantly enhance our ability to service our customers."

With five years experience in the GMO analysis field, GeneScan has developed specific DNA probes and quantification systems for the detection of genetically modified crop varieties. GeneScan said its methods allow the company to make a distinction between the presence of a GMO in a sample due to circumstances, such as transport or processing, and blending occurred on a larger scale.

"GeneScan's position in the marketplace provides Motorola with an excellent opportunity to showcase the value of our eSensor DNA detection platform," said Randy Levine, director of business development, Motorola/Clinical Micro Sensors. "This collaboration will bring improved capabilities to the agriculture and food industries, enabling better tracking and management of the new generations of crops and food products."

GeneScan utilizes its technology to detect modified DNA in such food products as flour, cakes and bakery products, dairy products, coarse meal, soybean lecithin, starch, protein isolates and hydrolysates and chocolate.

GeneScan comprises a global network of 13 biotechnology companies with subsidiaries and licensed laboratories in Europe, the U.S. and Australia, and plans to expand into South America and Asia. Motorola, Inc. provides integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions.