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Detection of transgenes in soybean via a polymerase chain reaction and a simple bioluminometric assay based on a universal aequorin-labeled oligonucleotide probe

Glynou, Kyriaki, Ioannou, Penelope C., Christopoulos, Theodore K.
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2004 v.378 no.7 pp. 1748-1753
Agrobacterium radiobacter, DNA, Glycine max, aequorin, calcium, lectins, nopaline, oligonucleotide probes, oligonucleotides, polymerase chain reaction, promoter regions, sodium hydroxide, soybeans, transgenes, transgenic plants
The recombinant photoprotein aequorin was used as a reporter in highly sensitive and automatable hybridization assays for the analysis of transgenic sequences in genetically modified organisms (GMO). The terminator of the nopaline synthase gene (NOS) from Agrobacterium tumefaciens and the 35S promoter sequence were detected in genetically modified soybean. The endogenous, soybean-specific, lectin gene was also detected for confirmation of the integrity of extracted DNA. A universal detection reagent was produced through conjugation of aequorin to the oligonucleotide (dA)₃₀. Biotinylated (through PCR) products for the three target sequences were captured onto streptavidin-coated wells, and one strand was removed by NaOH treatment. The immobilized single-stranded DNAs were then hybridized with oligonucleotide probes consisting of a target-specific segment and a poly(dT) tail. This allowed the subsequent determination of all hybrids through the use of the (dA)₃₀-aequorin conjugate as a universal reagent. The bound aequorin was measured by adding Ca²⁺ and integrating the light emission for 3 s. As low as 2 pM (100 amol per well) of amplified DNA was detectable for all three targets, with a signal-to-background ratio of about 2. The analytical range extended up to 2000 pM. As low as 0.05% GMO content in soybean can be detected with a signal-to-background ratio of 8.2. The overall repeatability of the proposed assay, including DNA extraction, PCR, and hybridization assay, ranged from 7.5–19.8%. The use of a (dA)₃₀-aequorin conjugate renders the assay configuration general for any target DNA, provided that the specific probe carries a poly(dT) tail.