In the present study a peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-mediated polymerase chain reaction (PCR) clamping method was developed and applied to the detection of genetically modiWed organisms (GMO), to test PCR products for band identity and to obtain a semiquantitative evaluation of GMO content. The minimal concentration of PNA necessary to block the PCR was determined by comparing PCRs containing a constant amount of DNA in the presence of increasing concentration of target-speciWc PNA. The lowest PNA concentration at which specific inhibition took place, by the inhibition of primer extension and/or steric hindrance, was the most efficient condition. Optimization of PCR clamping by PNA was observed by testing Wve different PNAs with a minimum of 13 bp to a maximum of 15 bp, designed on the target sequence of Roundup Ready soybean. The results obtained on the DNA extracted from Roundup Ready soybean standard flour were veriWed also on DNA extracted from standard flours of maize GA21, Bt176, Bt11, and MON810. A correlation between the PNA concentration necessary for inducing PCR clamping and the percentage of the GMO target sequence in the sample was found.
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