Investigation of transgenic elements in genetically modified maize germ (Zea mays) and maize germ oil distributed in local market by qualitative PCR method

Document Type : Original


1 Islamic Azad University, Medical Sciences Branch, Faculty of pharmacy, Tehran, Iran.

2 Food and Drug Laboratory Research Center, Iran Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran.

3 Zar Grain Refinery, Zarnam Farhikhtegan Industrial Research Group, Tehran, Iran.

4 General Directorate of Natural, Traditional and Complementary Products, Iran Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran.


Background and objective: Detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a controversial issue in food control. Due to the increased production and consumption of transgenic products in the last decade, their monitoring and characterization has come into force by the regulators. At this study, we examined the transgenic elements in maize germs and their oil by PCR.
Materials and methods: Following the DNA extraction from maize germ and maize oil by CTAB and Wizard Magnetic methods, respectively, PCR test was conducted to analyze the genes CaMV35S, NOS, FMV, and zein. Then, the PCR products were electrophoresed on agarose gel 2% containing ethidium bromide. To avoid false negative and false positive results, appropriate control actions were implemented during the experiments.
Results and conclusion: CaMV35S, NOS, FMV, and zein genes were detected and identified in transgenic maize germ samples, but no specific band of the transgenes was found for maize oil samples, indicating the DNA degradation during the oil production and purification process. It indicated that the current processes of maize germ oil production remove the residual transgenes. Therefore, the concerns about unintended intake of unknown genetic materials through the genetically modified crops such as maize oil is reduced to some extent.


Main Subjects