Year: 2006-07

Company: Dow Agrosciences

Liaison(s): Warren Lee

Genetic modification is widely used to improve the properties of many crop species, including 61% of the maize planted in the United States. With the prevalence of this technology, it is important to Dow Agrosciences (DAS) to verify that its seed lots are free of any unintended transgenes. DAS must be able to detect one “contaminant” seed among thousands of conventional seeds, where that contaminant seed may contain any one of many different traits. These factors, combined with the large number of lots which must be tested, require the analysis of over 1,000,000 samples per year. KGI’s team has evaluated improvements to several aspects of the existing DAS assays. At both the DNA extraction and trait detection stages, alternative methods have been tested which improve throughput, reduce operator time, and reduce reagent costs. This assay is automated at DAS and at KGI using Beckman Coulter Biomek liquid handling platforms.