Critical reviews in analytical chemistry 2018 03 22() 1-15 doi 10.1080/10408347.2018.1442708
In the nearly two decades since genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were first commercialized, genetically engineered crops have gained ground on their conventional counterparts, reaching 185 million hectares worldwide in 2016. The technology has bestowed most of its benefits on enhancing crop productivity with two main traits currently dominating the market: insect-resistant and herbicide-tolerant crops. Despite their rapid and vast adoption by farmers worldwide, GMOs have generated heated debates, especially in European countries (EU), driven mostly by consumers concerned about safety of transgenic foods and about the potential impact on the environment. The need to monitor and to verify the presence and the amount of GMOs in agricultural crops and in food products has generated interest in analytical methods for sensitive, accurate, rapid, and cheap detection of these products. DNA biosensors have been envisioned as a novel DNA-detection technology that would one day substitute current amplification-based methods, providing hand-held, quick, and ultrasensitive gene-level detection. This review summarizes the contributions made in nearly 20 years of research regarding the application of genosensing technology for the qualitative and quantitative determination of transgenic traits.