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Knowledge Transfer event for DNA extraction approaches to support food labelling enforcement - FA0144

Previous Defra/FSA funded Knowledge Transfer (KT) events held at LGC have successfully equipped Public Analysts with the expertise and tool sets to enable them to confidently design PCR assays for DNA sequencing, and to sequence animal/plant species not formerly included in pre-existing Defra/FSA protocols. Further highlighted by the recent UK horse-meat issue, LGC and Defra have received additional requests for help from Public Analysts asking for guidance on how to extract DNA from samples for which there are no previous Defra/FSA guidance (e.g. processed and ready-type meals including chili con carne, lasagna and ravioli).

Obtaining high quality, intact DNA is often the first and most critical step in many fundamental molecular biology applications, such as PCR and DNA sequencing, and the majority, if not all, of the published Defra/FSA protocols that use molecular biology approaches to determine food authenticity/adulteration are reliant upon this. DNA must be of sufficient yield and quality to be amenable for the downstream molecular biology applications. Isolating intact total DNA from tissue samples can be a challenge, and is dependent upon a range of factors including the physical and biochemical properties of the tissue.

For example, many extraction methods will work equally well for tissues such as liver, but fibrous tissues such as heart, fatty tissues such as brain, and nuclease-rich tissues like spleen, present further challenges for DNA isolation. There is therefore a genuine need to provide pragmatic guidance and share expertise on how to select DNA extraction methods appropriate for use with representative samples that the Public Analysts are required to work with. This proposed Knowledge Transfer event will include a series of presentations regarding the principles and best measurement practice guidelines for DNA extraction, workshops on data analysis, laboratory practical demonstrations of commercial DNA extraction kits, and provision of KT event handouts which will incorporating relevant guidance material and decision trees. This will allow Public Analysts to isolate DNA with confidence from a range of sample types and matrices in order to apply the downstream molecular biology methods from FSA/Defra protocols with assurance.
Knowledge Transfer event for DNA extraction approaches to support food labelling enforcement
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : FA0144 EVID4   (3031k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £45,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
LGC Limited
Food Ingredients              
Food Safety