Detection of Genetically Modified Organisms in Some Products from the Local Syrian Markets Using Molecular Biology Techniques

Nour Ghazi Al-Asaad
General Commission for Scientific Agricultural Research-
Biotechnology Department
Faculty of Agriculture, Damascus University,


In the current study, analysis for some field crops, feed and food products found in the local market was conducted for GMOs detection using molecular biology techniques based on PCR, Multiplex PCR, and Nested PCR. DNA was extracted from samples including: corn, soybean, sunflower, barley, tomato, cucumber, pop corn, and rice followed by tests to ensure purity of DNA samples using specific primers, such as detection of Lactin and zein genes which are specific to soybean and maize respectively.
GMO detection in the studied samples was conducted using specific primers for the most commonly used foreign DNA in genetic transformation such as 35 S promoter from cauliflower mosaic virus, Nopaline synthase terminator (T-Nos), the gene which confers tolerance to glyphosate-herbicide, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), CRYIA(b) gene which confer resistance to insects, NPTII gene which confer resistance to kanamycine, BAR gene which gives tolerance to glyphosate-herbicide, and the selectable marker gus gene, using the following plasmids as positive control: PGIIMH35S-g2ps1, pBI221, TOP10 PGII35S CRYA(b) ,TOP10 PGII35S CRYA(c).
Tests revealed existence of GMOs in two imported products such as corn, and soybean due to the presence of 35S promoter and NOS terminator, and EPSPS gene in soybean, while tests showed negative results in the local crops tested. Bioinformatics tools and nested PCR were used to confirm our findings.